Some Whiteners Can Cause Damage To Gums

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

I recently stumbled across an online whitening method for teeth. It consisted of mixing peroxide and baking soda to brush the teeth. I cringe when I hear of concoctions such as this since they can cause severe damage to teeth and gums.

Using an abrasive substance such as baking soda can wear down tooth enamel, which does not regenerate itself. Some whitening methods non-supervised by your dentist can be just as risky to gum tissue. When an overly-abrasive substance is used to brush teeth, tender gum tissues can be damaged. Tears in the gums opens the door to oral bacteria, making you more susceptible to gum disease. The bacteria of gum disease can also enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammatory reactions. This bacteria has been linked to heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, preterm babies and even impotency.

Although the ADA states that, when used correctly, whitening strips are safe, they caution that if applied incorrectly or pushed into the gums, whitening strips can damage tooth enamel and lead to tissue damage below the gums.

Rather than risk costly repairs trying to mix a recipe full of risk, be very careful about the application of whitening strips or even better, ask your dentist about his or her whitening system. Risking the health of your teeth and gums is hardly worth trying these homemade remedies.

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