Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Are There Dangers in Whitening Teeth?

Teeth whitening is $2 billion dollar a year industry in the United States. Dentists surveyed by the American Dental Association (ADA), report that teeth whitening is the most requested service among patients between the ages of 40 and 60. New and ever more elaborate over-the-counter teeth whitening products appear on the market each week and thousands of young adults convinced that there is no such thing as being too thin, too rich, or having teeth that are too white, clamor for each new teeth whitening innovation.

In general the ADA says that over-the-counter teeth whitening products are save for teeth and gums if two conditions are met. First, that the teeth and gums are healthy to begin with. And second, that the patient uses the product according to the instructions on the label.

If the teeth and gums are not healthy, applying teeth whitening substances to the teeth can cause intense pain in the teeth and painful irritation in the gums. To be completely safe, the ADA recommends that everyone see a dentist before beginning an at-home whitening regime.

By far the greatest danger from teeth whitening products occurs when patients do not use the products according to instructions. Some patients will used a number of different whitening products each day. Recent studies show that using an over-the-counter regime for a period of two weeks twice a year is absolutely safe. Problems begin when patients don't stop when they should.

Over-whitening teeth can do permanent damage. First the teeth can take on a milky blue tint that is irreversible. Second, if the chemical seep into a crack or small cavity in the tooth a root canal will likely be necessary.

Much like anorexia nervosa, obsessive teeth whitening, is now another form of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). When teeth whitening becomes so obsessive that it interrupts daily functioning, psychiatric treatment is necessary.

Teeth whitening can be save if reasonable expectations are maintained and the patient has the ability to exercise self-control.

Does zoom teeth whitening work? The best teeth whitening methods at

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