Bleachorexia: The Risks of Excessive Teeth Whitening

img-blog-Woman covering mouthThe average person is bombarded with images of beautiful celebrities with dazzling smiles many times throughout their day. Most men and women want a brighter smile, and seeking professional teeth whitening in moderation can help them achieve and maintain the desired results. However, some patients are unsatisfied with the outcome of their treatments and decide to undergo frequent and excessive teeth whitening sessions. The obsession with having whiter teeth can lead to “bleachorexia,” or over-bleaching. In many cases, those with bleachorexia are unaware of or ignore the risks involved with over-bleaching, some of which can cause permanent damage.

What Happens When You Over-Bleach

Most teeth whitening products contain peroxide, an agent that can produce outstanding results when used in increments of six months to one year. However, bleaching more often than is recommended can have painful and displeasing effects, such as:

  • Gum irritation: While this is usually a temporary side effect of over-bleaching, having irritated or bleeding gums can be quite uncomfortable.
  • Oversensitivity: Teeth whitening can cause the teeth to be temporarily sensitive to cold or hot foods, a side effect that is exacerbated by over-bleaching.
  • Darkening of the teeth: Over-bleaching can have the opposite of the desired effect, resulting in darker teeth as they become translucent.
  • Demineralization: This can occur when excessive teeth whitening erodes the enamel of the teeth, making teeth vulnerable to decay and fracture.

The Safe Way to a Whiter Smile

The best option for those who want a whiter smile is to schedule a dental exam appointment with a professional. Our specialists at The Palisades Dentists can assess the condition of your teeth and develop a safe, customized smile makeover approach tailored to your needs. We also provide general dentistry services to help keep your smile bright and healthy throughout the year.

For more information about how to achieve the smile you desire or to schedule your dental consultation at the Palisades Dentists, please call 310.459.2303.