Beware of Teeth Whitening


TeethConventional tooth-whitening kits can result in a host of problems for your mouth, gums, teeth, and health in general.

Swallowing Bleach

Standard tooth bleaching kits come with a mouth tray that may not fit snugly, which can result in the bleaching agent leaking. This can lead to ingestion of the bleaching agent, and it can also seep onto and irritate gum tissue.


All current tooth whitening products use peroxide to make your teeth white, even the laser using 'light-enhanced bleaching'; the lasers simply make the peroxides penetrate more deeply.

Peroxide, and other chemicals present in the bleach, can damage gum tissue and even cause nerve damage to the tissues inside the tooth pulp. They can also increase tooth sensitivity to cold and heat, and cause tooth decay and even tooth loss.

30 Times the Concentration

In Europe, an upper limit for peroxides in oral products has been set at 0.1 percent by weight. The United States, however, allows for 30 times that concentration. Many countries no longer allow the tooth bleaching products commonly used in the United States.

Man Health Magazine Online

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Teeth whitening is the most requested cosmetic procedure performed in this country. Coffee, tobacco, some foods and especially medications (which are the worst offenders) can stain or permanently damage your teeth.

There are many different types of whitening formulas that contain a variety of solutions and technologies. Hydrogen peroxide is not my first choice because it can cause sensitivity.

Hydrogen peroxide forms radical intermediates -- extremely unstable and destructive molecules -- that break down into water and oxygen. The free radical intermediates react with the pigments that stain your teeth and destroy and can also damage your gums and nerves.

If you have gum disease, receding gums or allergies, you should avoid bleaching until your condition has been properly treated.

You will want to consider the different formulas and make an informed and conscious choice with your doctor. You can avoid potentially serious toxicity and injuries to your teeth and gums if you follow these guidelines.

Given all the possible dangerous effects of tooth bleaching, it is probably not your best choice. There are, however, other methods that can be used on stained teeth.

Tooth veneers are one alternative option to bleaching. Veneers are thin coverings made of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth. Though they won't stain, they are not as long-lasting as real teeth.

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