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Health & Fitness

can teeth whitening damage gums

Teeth whitening is legal all over the world, and when used professionally and within UAE regulations, it isn’t detrimental. However, higher concentrations of bleaching products are unsafe.

Before we look into the side effects of Teeth whitening, we need to understand how exactly whitening works and what are the available options?

Teeth whitening refers to the application of bleaching agents on the teeth to lighten them and improve the smile.

From a medical perspective, there’s no need to whiten the teeth. However, if you are still interested in the procedure you need to understand the risks. Can teeth whitening damage gums? If so, what causes the damage? And what to do if the damage is severe? Keep reading to know the answers.

How teeth whitening works

Teeth whitening is a cost-effective and minimally invasive dental treatment, making it one of the most popular dentistry procedures. But it does not offer reliable results; in most cases, the effects last for six to seven months.

The procedure involves using peroxides like carbamide peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide on the teeth, to destroy the unwanted chemical bonds that hold the stains on the enamel. This causes significant luminosity change and restores a brighter and more beautiful smile.

Remember, the application mode varies by the type of product used. It should also be noted that improper and long-term use of bleaching agents can cause several adverse effects.


  1. Home teeth whitening: Do-it-yourself, and convenient approach; Utilizes whitening kits, toothpaste, trays, and pen;
  2. In-office teeth whitening: Professionally performed by a dentist; Offers long-lasting results


This dental procedure is associated with a number of side effects including teeth sensitivity, discomfort, mild pain, and bruising.

Gum irritation caused by the whitening

There’s evidence that teeth whitening can also lead to inflamed gums. However, this inflammation is treatable.

People with exposed gums and recession and are at higher risk of getting gum inflammation after teeth whitening. Beyond that, if you have gingivitis or any other gum disease, prefer not to get your teeth whitened right away. Any such problems must first be fixed before the professional will carry out the treatment.

Several studies show that whether you are in the comfort of your home or at the dentist’s office, the use of chemicals on the teeth can cause inflammation of the soft tissues, especially the gums. And this may also result in pain and discomfort when eating and drinking cold foods and drinks. You need to avoid acidic as well as colored foods for a while. Also, it is important that you stop smoking for several months.

Good news: the damage to the gums is short-term and can be corrected easily. Just to let you know, vitamin E has been shown to be helpful to alleviate inflammation.

Suppose you are in the mid of teeth whitening at home or at the office, and you begin to experience discomfort and pain in your gums? What should be your next move?

Using a custom-fitted tray is the most important thing to ensure a successful and safe whitening procedure. So, if you feel discomfort in your soft tissues during treatment, stop the process and adjust the tray immediately. Next, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Saltwater will soothe your gums and help relieve the discomfort. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers also help. Well, you should talk to a dentist before using any medication for inflamed gums.

You’d be glad to know that as soon you stop the whitening treatment, gum damage begins to resolve on its own. Complete healing will probably take three to four hours only.

Important considerations

To prevent, treat or minimize irritation in your gums, you should use these tips:

  1. Inflammation usually occurs when patients do not use custom-made trays for whitening or apply higher concentrations of bleaching products.
  2. If ingredients come in contact with soft tissues in your mouth, wipe them off instantly.
  3. It is important that you give your gums adequate time to heal. Do not re-whiten your teeth until the gums have fully healed
  4. You should consult a dental professional to get yourself a custom-made tray

Choosing the whitening system

There are many ways to improve teeth. Initially, it is important to consult a dental professional about the health of your gums and tissue. And once you are sure that you don’t have any active disease, you are allowed to get professional whitening. Remember that, in-office teeth whitening is not appropriate for children, and people with gum diseases; they should consider whitening strips, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and pens for desired results.

The outlook

Teeth whitening may make your gums and teeth more sensitive to cold foods and drinks. It would be very beneficial to use vitamin E for your inflamed gums.

For more information on “can teeth whitening damage gums”, please consult with a dentist

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