Are There any Side Effects to Tooth Whitening?

When administered by a qualified dentist like Dr. Dennis Wells at Nashville Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, teeth whitening is generally a safe and effectual approach with very few risks. In the majority of use cases, any side effects are usually caused by misuse of the whitening agent, including attempting to over-whiten.

 The most common after-effect is temporary tooth sensitivity. You can reduce this risk by discussing your sensitivity levels with a dentist before beginning a procedure and following all aftercare instructions closely.

Possible Long-Term Risks

Although there are minimal risks with teeth whitening. However, in scarce cases, some professional-grade and over-the-counter products may cause:

  • Long-term sensitivity
  • Injury to the tooth roots
  • Dissolving of enamel
  • Patchy results
  • Injury to membranes in the mouth

Additionally, patients who chronically whiten their teeth at home without the approval of their doctor can develop serious oral health concerns. Again, this type of case would qualify as a “misuse” as we mentioned previously.

It is proven that chronic overuse of peroxide-based whitening solutions can erode tooth enamel and even cause chemical burns on the soft tissue inside the mouth. These effects are rare and are typically associated with overuse or misuse.

Short-Term Side Effects

While whitening rarely causes extended negative effects, temporary tooth sensitivity can be a common result. If you do have any discomfort following a whitening treatment, talk to your dentist about solutions.

You may be more likely to experience sensitivity if you:

  • Currently have sensitive teeth
  • Notice sensitivity after teeth cleaning
  • Feel irritation after brushing or flossing

Some dentists recommend desensitizing products to help patients with sensitive teeth after whitening. Obviously, if you experience any irritation, you should temporarily suspend any scheduled touch-up whitening treatments until directed to by your dentist.

Gum Discomfort

Another possible side effect of whitening can be gum irritation, and this may result from:

  • A defective bleaching tray
  • Breakdown of the initial protective barrier
  • Overuse and misuse of a whitening solution

How to Minimize Any Risks

Scheduling your whitening with a qualified dentist is the best way to eliminate the chance of temporary or long-term or side effects. Purchasing whitening products from your pharmacy and using them is less reliable. Some cheap brands can have seriously high levels of peroxide.

Also, these products are more likely to cause patchy results. Typical side effects of store-bought whitening products occur from the misuse of the gel solution. Always discuss with your dentist before starting teeth whitening, especially if you plan to do it yourself, to decide if you are a good candidate.

Contact Nashville Center for Aesthetic Dentistry 


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105 Powell Ct Ste 101
Nashville, TN

Posted in Aesthetic dentistry, Teeth Whitening, Tooth Whitening
cosmetic dentistry with a cosmetic dentist Nashville TN and Brentwood

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    • Always a pleasant experience. Love the professionalism, attention to detail and progressive attitude. I can't imagine ever going back to a bare basics old school mentality dental office. I tell everyone how great NCFAD is.
      —Robert T.
    • I always receive excellent service at Dr. Wells office. My hygienist Denise is AMAZING. I have very sensitive teeth and gums and now my visits don't have to be painful. The staff is wonderful and Dr. Wells is very patient and takes the time to listen and figure out the best protocol.
      —Shelley R.
    • I actually enjoy going to the dentist, knowing that I am in good hands with Dr. Wells and his amazing staff! They are professional, friendly and caring! The best!
      —Stacey R.
    • Dr. Wells and Dr. Weese and staff are the best in the business and just awesome people to top it off. You won't be disappointed.
      —Sherree T.
    • The entire staff at NCAD is friendly, helpful and professional. I can always be assured a good visit no matter what needs to be done.
      —David T.
    • Dr. Wells is an excellent cosmetic dentist. I traveled all the way from Houston area just to have him do my veneers. I highly recommend him!
      —Sabrina L.
    • This was the best dental experience I've ever had in my life and I've had a lot! The customer service and genuine care for the patients was outstanding!!
      —Kimberly S.
    • I LOVE this practice! THE most comprehensive initial exam I have ever had and every cleaning since has been wonderful. Love Dr. Wells, my girl Brooke and the entire staff; they are wonderful!
      —Amy W.
    • Wow what a great dentist practice. Absolutely the best. Both Dr Wells and Dr Weese are excellent and Carissa is the best. In fact everyone on their staff goes above and beyond in making my dental experience wonderful. I only wish I had found them sooner. Love the new smile. Best is the natural look.
      —Jeff C.
    • Another wonderful visit with everyone! Work mania caused me to be running late for my early morning appointment. Zee was able to reschedule me during lunch hour the same day. I was in a real crunch for time and they even made a smoothie for me so I could get immediately back to work! So wonderful and so grateful for everyone!
      —Michael S.
    • Love all of the staff at the office and Brook is a wonderful Dental Hygienist. I recommend you to anyone who is in need of superior dentistry.
      —Carol C.
    • Dr. Wells' staff, as always, offer the very best in a friendly, professional and patient focused environment. My dental health has never been so good. Thank you, Dr. Wells and Staff.
      —Stephen A.
    • The entire staff is so kind and caring. I've been going to the dentist for a long time but have never received the excellent care that I receive at Dr. Well's office. I'm so thankful to have a great place to go for dental care!!!
      —Allison T.
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    cosmetic dentist in Nashville TN

    AACD Accredited

    Dr. Wells has been an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry since 1994, and serves on the review board as an examiner for other dentists seeking their cosmetic dentistry accreditation.

    aesthetic dentistry with a Nashville dentist in Brentwood TN

    Award Winning Dentistry award for cosmetic dentistry in Nashville Tennessee and Brentwood
    • Nashville Top Dentist 2017 in Cosmetic Dentistry
    • 2008 AACD Outstanding Scientific Advancement in Cosmetic Dentistry Award
    • Selected as one of the Top Dentists in America - 2005 and 2010
    • 2001 AACD Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Art and Science of Cosmetic Dentistry
    • 2005 Entrepreneur Award
    • Crown Council Best Dentist to Work For - 2008
    Nashville Center for Aesthetic Dentistry
    Dennis J. Wells, DDS
    Daniel K. Weese, DMD

    105 Powell Ct Ste 101
    Brentwood, TN 37027
    Call: 615-371-8878
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