Everyone likes a beautiful smile, but unfortunately, a new disorder, known in the industry as, “Bleachorexia,” is happening all over the world and could have disastrous results
Over bleaching teeth with over the counter bleaching products can cause serious problems for your teeth and gums. Bleaching more than is recommended can make you sensitive to hot and cold and even make your teeth appear transparent. Your dentist explains that over bleaching can also ruin the enamel on your teeth.
Tooth whitening is big business with Americans spending over a billion dollars each year with both over the counter tooth whitening products such as gels, pastes and whitening strips, and professional in office tooth whitening and custom made tooth bleaching trays. In fact, in a recent study conducted by the American Dental Association tooth whitening toothpaste is more popular than fluoride or tartar control toothpaste.
Although more research is needed, there is evidence that when tooth-bleaching products are used as directed no permanent damage will occur.
Studies indicate that it is quite safe to bleach for two weeks if you are using an over the counter bleaching product or a custom-made whitening kit from your dentist. It is also safe to schedule one or two in office chair side bleaching session each year. However, your dentist will tell you that it is unsafe to include bleaching as part of your daily routine.
Other side effects, besides the tooth sensitivity, that could occur from over whitening include blue colored enamel, gum irritation, and uneven tooth whiteness. If the chemicals seep into an unfilled cavity or a cracked tooth, the internal damage will not only be painful, but could also result in a root canal. With the exception of the internal damage, all of the symptoms will clear up after a couple of weeks as long as you stop using the tooth bleaching products.
However, some people will not stop and become, “Bleachorexics.” A decade ago most people were not even aware of tooth whitening, but these days, most dentists will tell you that they have had to cut off more than one patient because of, “Bleachorexia.”
One of the main reasons people can’t stop is because once they do, teeth will return to the color that they were before bleaching. Very few people are content with their tooth color after it begins to regress. This starts the cycle all over again, which eventually leads to over bleaching.