If you're thinking about tooth whitening, you want to know about any possible teeth whitening side effects!
First, let me say that take-home tooth whitening systems bought from a dentist' office are perfectly safe. There has been a TON of research into tooth whitening since the 1970's, and DENTIST SUPPLIED whitening systems are completely safe.
BUT there is one thing you must avoid: whitening systems used by some NON-DENTAL tooth whitening businesses which contain chlorine dioxide.
Chlorine dioxide is acidic, and can etch or dissolve the surface layer of tooth enamel, leaving it rough and dull. As far as I am aware, there are NO dentist-supplied products that contain chlorine dioxide. That's why I recommend whitening gels from a dentist.
So what are the teeth whitening side effects that you might expect from dentist-supplied systems?
You can minimise any sensitivity by being really
careful about the amount of whitening gel you put into your
splints. Most folk put out too much! You only need a small drop of gel,
about the size of a grape seed, in each tooth space. Also, taking 600mg
Ibuprofen ("Nurofen") at least one hour before you
do the whitening will help too.
Most of the whitening you see in those first minutes
after a "laser" whitening session is
due to the enamel dehydrating. The teeth look
because it becomes more opaque. But as the enamel rehydrates again with
saliva, the normal color returns.
It has been found that most whitening gels are pretty much spent after 90 - 120 minutes. After that time, they are just neutral, and are having no further whitening effect. So 1 to 2 hours is all you need, to get most of the whitening effect from a single application! For my own patients, I even recommend taking the splints out after 45 minutes!
Tooth whitening side effects are always of short duration and more of an inconvenience than anything else. There are NO teeth whitening side effects that are permanent, unless you have used chlorine dioxide on your teeth. The only thing that remains long-term is the whiter color!