I hate to admit it, but I am kind of obsessed with bleaching my teeth. I had trays made by my dentist and I use them two to three times a week. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that they are not white – they actually look gray. What’s going on? — Shelby
Most people think that the more they whiten, the whiter their teeth will be. Unfortunately, when it comes to teeth whitening, less is best. Most of the at-home whitening systems use carbamide peroxide as the main bleaching agent and it can actually damage the gums if it’s used too much. But even worse, teeth can also become brittle and chalky and the edges can become thin – resulting in that translucent or grey color you are noticing.
Dental professionals need to warn patients about the risks associated with overusing teeth bleaching products. It sounds like you have bleached too much for too long and you need to give your teeth a break. There’s no guarantee that your teeth will return to their normal color and strength, but if you don’t stop now, it will only get worse. Get some Sensodyne ProEnamel toothpaste to help with remineralization and just back off. You may need to make an appointment with your dentist if they stay gray in color or get even darker. If they have become very weak, they could chip or cause other problems, and you’ll be likely looking at some restorative procedures down the road.