Dental Emergencies Caused By Tooth Whitening Products

With the relatively recent ban on hydrogen peroxide as a tooth whitening agent, companies have been using less harmful and more tooth friendly materials to white their patients teeth with. Carbamide and ammonium based products are now often found, but other forms of peroxide are also used frequently, albeit with less amounts of the active ingredient than previously. This of course does not mean that these do not trigger the occasional dental emergency just as their predecessors that contained hydrogen peroxide, did. 

How It Is Caused

Technically speaking, a healthy tooth should not react negatively to tooth whitening treatments at all. A cracked or broken tooth may, with fairly great likelihood, react negatively to a whitening session. This is why dentists should (and for the most part, do) always mention that this procedure is only an option if you have taken care of all necessary dental work before hand, and have undergone a hygiene session. Otherwise, there may be issues. Dentine and the nerves that it engulfs do not like to be marred by acids and peroxides, and will react very negatively if you do. The problem is, smaller dental problems may not be diagnosable, or may fail to be diagnosed by your dentist, even if he is very good at his job.

Invisible Issues

There can be cracks in your enamel so small that they are literally invisible to the naked eye. This means no matter how good your dentist is, they will certainly miss these tiny hairline cracks, and no x-ray or other apparatus will help in finding them either. These tiny cracks will let the material through, and you will feel a burning pain in your tooth, and the material may start to eat away at your nerves as well. 

The other problem is when the enamel is starting to be worn away evenly, meaning it is a decalcified zone, or just a thinner sheet of enamel. This way, the tooth surface may look completely normal, but when peroxide hits the area, the nerve will flare up. This is because the enamel is too thin, and the nerve will be affected by the corrosive nature of the tooth whitening agent. This may also be invisible, and cannot be seen by the dentist ahead of time.

What To Do

If you are getting a chairside whitening session, mention the pain the moment you feel it, and the dentist will stop, clear the area and maybe prescribe something for the pain. If you are doing an at home treatment, and the tooth starts to hurt, stop the process, rinse it out with warm water, and consult your dentist immediately.

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