Are You a Bleachorexic?

When you whiten your teeth, you may need to wait a little while to notice the results. Overusing a teeth whitening product in hopes of achieving your desired look faster can actually do more harm than good. Bleachorexia is the term loosely used by journalists and some dentists to describe an addiction to whitening — an addiction that can  damage your dental health. How does excessive bleaching hurt your smile?

  • Sensitivity: Whitening products contain a strong bleaching agent called peroxide to make your teeth look brighter. Excessive exposure to peroxide can wear away the enamel on your teeth. When your tooth enamel weakens, bleaching chemicals can reach the nerve endings inside your teeth, causing your teeth to hurt and become very sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Discoloration: You’re trying to change the color of your teeth to make them look better, but too much whitening can actually make them look less white. Overuse of whitening products can color your teeth unevenly in different shades of white, and eventually begin to turn teeth a light bluish, translucent color.
  • Irritation: Whitening abuse can irritate your gums, palate (roof of your mouth), and throat. Too much of the bleaching peroxide can burn your gum tissue, resulting in receding, swelling, or bleeding. In addition, if your whitening tray is not the right size, it can rub your gums or lips and cause inflammation. If the chemical spills out of the tray, you are at risk of swallowing the solution, which may casuse nausea, dizziness, or vomiting.

Whitening treatments can be safe and effective when monitored by cosmetic dentist Dr. James DeFinnis. He offers the Deep Bleaching technique to brighten your smile. Follow his guidelines and instructions to avoid dangers by abusing the treatment.

If teeth whiteners have not been successful for you, Dr. DeFinnis also offers porcelain veneers that can be bonded to your teeth to cover flaws. Contact Back Mountain Dental in Trucksville, PA at 570-763-4360 to discuss your whitening needs. Our dental office welcomes patients from Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and surrounding communities.

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