DIY Teeth Whitening - When To Call The Emergency Dentist

Many people opt to go the DIY route in an attempt to save money, although it is far better for your teeth and much safer to ask the qualified technicians at your dental clinic to carry out whitening treatments for you.  When things don't go according to plan, DIY teeth whitening attempts can result in a visit to the emergency dentist. 

So, what are the hazards of DIY teeth whitening and when should you seek an emergency dental consultation?  Read on for more information.

DIY whitening hazards – oversensitivity

Home whitening kits contain chemicals that are designed to bleach the enamel on the surface of your teeth, removing surface staining and resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.  In comparison with the whitening products used by your dentist, DIY treatments are nowhere near as effective, and this means that users are tempted to repeat the treatments too frequently. 

DIY home whitening treatments are often used in tandem with over-the-counter whitening toothpaste.  These types of toothpaste usually contain tiny micro-granules that are designed to scour the surface of the enamel to remove stains and polish the teeth, making them appear shinier and brighter.

A combination of these two treatments when used too frequently can leave the tooth enamel weakened, exposing the sensitive tissue underneath to the bleaching chemicals contained in the whitening product.  This can result in pain when eating cold or hot foods or when breathing in very cold air on a winter's day.

Damaged and inflamed gums

When you begin whitening treatment at your dental clinic, your dentist will test your gums to make sure that they will not be irritated by the chemicals used in the whitening products.  You don't have this luxury with DIY treatments, meaning that you could easily cause your gums to become inflamed and painful, making it difficult to eat and drink.

Tooth damage

When you attend your dental clinic to discuss teeth whitening procedures with your dentist, you will undergo a thorough check-up to make sure that your teeth are in sound condition, before the treatment commences.  If you have cracks or cavities in your teeth of which you are unaware, DIY chemical treatments can seep into these faults, potentially leading to internal damage and even root canal problems.

When to see the emergency dentist

If you experience pain in your teeth or gums following a DIY home teeth whitening treatment, rinse your mouth out immediately with clean water.  You may also find that brushing your teeth gently with sensitive-formula toothpaste can bring you some relief. 

Don't rub your gums with aspirin as this can burn them.  It's safe to take paracetamol to ease your pain, but you should make an appointment to see the emergency dentist as soon as possible in case more serious damage has occurred to your teeth.