Teeth whitening can potentially cause gum recession. The bleaching agents used in teeth whitening products can irritate the gums, leading to temporary gum sensitivity or, in rare cases, gum recession. It is crucial to consult with a dental professional and follow their instructions to minimize the risk of gum recession during teeth whitening treatments.
What is Gum Recession?
Gum recession is a condition where the gums start pulling away from the teeth, leaving the roots exposed. It occurs when the protective gum tissues and bone that hold teeth in place are destroyed. Some common causes of gum recession include aggressive brushing, pre-existing gum disease, genetics, and smoking.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that uses bleaching agents or whitening strips to remove stains and give teeth a whiter, brighter appearance. It can be done at home through kits or professionally by a dentist in the dental office.
Can Teeth Whitening Cause Gum Recession?
While teeth whitening itself does not directly cause gum recession, there are some factors that may increase the risk of recession when undergoing the procedure:
- If the whitening gel/strips irritate already thin or sensitive gums, it can worsen any existing recession or lead to further receding of gums. This is because the chemicals in whitening products are acidic and act like bleach on the soft tissues.
- Pushing the whitening trays too forcefully against gums can potentially cause micro-trauma and starting points for recession.
- Pre-existing untreated gum disease like gingivitis makes the gums weak and vulnerable to the effects of whitening agents.
However, with proper protocol and management of risk factors by your dentist, teeth whitening does not typically lead to or cause gum recession. If you already have recession, consulting your dentist is advisable before whitening to minimize risks.
Can You Whiten Teeth If You Have Gum Recession?
While it is possible, whitening teeth with existing gum recession requires extra care and precautions to avoid worsening the condition. Using a strong desensitizing toothpaste before and during whitening can help reduce sensitivity.
Your dentist may also apply protective barriers on exposed roots to shield them from the chemicals. Overall, maintaining healthy gums should take priority over aesthetics when considering teeth whitening.
Frequently Ask Question
Will My Gums Go Back to Normal After Whitening?
Yes, your gums should return to normal after teeth whitening. Temporary sensitivity or irritation may occur, but proper care and time usually promote healing.
In conclusion, teeth whitening itself does not directly cause gum recession in most cases. However, factors like poor oral hygiene, underlying gum disease, and pre-existing recession can increase the risk of worsening recession when undergoing whitening procedures.
Consulting your dentist, especially if you have recession, is important before starting the treatment to safely achieve your desired whitening results. With proper management of risk factors, teeth whitening need not necessarily lead to gum recession.