Teeth bleaching has become a very popular way of lightening one’s teeth. It is a great technique that can be done minimally invasive and for low cost. As with any dental procedure, it does come with some minor risks. The most common one is tooth hypersensitivity, in other words, that next cold drink could shoot you through the roof. We use an at-home bleaching technique which greatly lessens the sensitivity. The bleaching agent that we use has potassium nitrate in it which which significantly reduces the problems with cold food and drink. You can also use a toothpaste that is specifically made for hypersensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne.
Scanning electron microscope studies have shown no appreciable damage to the tooth enamel, however, there can be some roughening of composite resins which are used for the tooth colored fillings. It’s not significant enough to avoid bleaching altogether, although you may need to be prepared to have any large fillings in your front teeth replaced since they probably won’t match after the bleaching is done.
Contact with the gums can cause some irritation, especially with the stronger concentrations of bleaching agent. Make sure that the tray that holds the bleach has been properly contoured so as to not cover the gums and wipe any excess gel off the gums.