Can you whiten your teeth too much?

Teeth whitening can give you an amazingly white smile. But what if you’re hooked on it? Is it a harmless or harmful?

What’s Normal for Teeth Whitening?

Photo of teeth whitening trays in a blue case.
Teeth whitening trays

Normally, you can whiten your teeth until they reached the desired shade. It takes a few days for the shade to settle in, so after about two weeks of whitening, you should wait a few days before continuing whitening. But can you continue whiten your teeth continuously for months?

What Happens If You Overuse Teeth Whitening?

Excessive whitening can damage teeth, their roots, and your gums.

  • Teeth – Tooth enamel can wear away. If that happens, you’ll lose your brilliantly white smile and your teeth will look gray or blue instead. Your teeth can also become sensitive to heat or cold foods and beverages.
  • Gums – The gum tissue around your teeth can be burned by the chemicals in the gel or get irritated. Inflamed gum tissue leads to periodontal disease, which can cause damage your gums and teeth. In severe cases, soft-tissue grafting might be required.
  • Roots – As your gums get irritated and recede, your tooth roots will be exposed. If you continue whitening, you’ll also feel sensitivity in your roots.

Take a Break

  • Whitening might not be the right treatment – Did you realize that bleaching your teeth isn’t always the best solution for removing stains or making them whiter? Speak with your dentist before you begin whitening them. If your gums or teeth are not healthy—or if you have cavities developing—those issues should be treated first.
  • Pause between treatment – After you whiten your teeth for two weeks, take a break and let the color settle. If you want to continue whitening, only do it for a week longer. Touch-ups are only needed every few months.
  • Whitening gel – Only use FDA-approved gel. Avoid using cheap gel in packages that don’t reveal the contents.

This post is sponsored by Baton Rouge cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.