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    Maroubra Dental Clinic

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    Maroubra, NSW, 2035

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    Parramatta Dental Clinic

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    Parramatta, NSW, 2150

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Dentist Journal

What is the link between teeth whitening and gum recession?

What is the link between teeth whitening and gum recession?

Discoloured teeth can wipe the smile off your face – that’s why many are turning to teeth whitening for a cleaner and brighter smile. 

Is teeth whitening safe? Does it cause gum recession? This article explores the link between whitening and gum recession. 

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a procedure in which your dentist removes stains and discolouration from teeth to make them milky white.

Your dentist will apply a whitening gel, which has up to 40% of hydrogen peroxide and use a special lamp or laser to clean the teeth. Your lips, gums, and tongue will be covered to prevent the gel from acting on anything other than your teeth.  

You can also whiten your teeth at home with a whitening kit which usually comes in gel form. The kits also have a smaller version of the light and will provide instructions on how to do it.

Can teeth whitening cause gum recession?

Yes, it’s possible for teeth whitening to cause gum recession due to the whitening agents in the gel (the peroxide) can irritate your gums. The peroxide acts in a similar way to bleach, and if it gets onto your gums, you’ll feel a burning sensation. 

You may develop white spots on your gums. In addition, the chemical may cause the gums to become inflamed, which can lead to infections. Weak gums and infections are usually one of the leading causes of gum recession

Home teeth whitening is more likely to cause these dental issues. There is a significantly lower risk of gum recession if you have your whitening treatment performed by a dentist. As mentioned earlier, the dentist takes extra precautions to cover your gums, so the chemicals don’t end up in the wrong places. In addition, they monitor any irritation and can quickly act before it gets out of hand. 

Can you whiten teeth with receding gums? 

What if you already have gum recession? Can you whiten your teeth? 

No, it’s not advisable to use any teeth whitening substances if you have receding gums. Your gums should be thick and in good health; otherwise, you risk further complications. 

Also, gum recession leaves your roots exposed. The roots lack the enamel layer which covers the teeth, meaning they will be more severely affected by whitening chemicals. The peroxides can cause the roots to become thinner and more sensitive to irritations and cold, plus the risk of tooth decay becomes much higher.  

If you are experiencing gum recession its best to seek out treatment options like:

Scaling and root planing

Gum graft surgery

Pinhole surgical technique

You can proceed with the whitening procedure once the gum problem has been resolved. 

In summary 

Teeth whitening is a great way to restore your dazzling smile and confidence. You can choose to DIY or get it done by a professional dentist in Maroubra. In saying that, it’s highly advisable to choose the professional route to reduce the risk of inducing irritation and inflammation on your gums which can cause gum recession. If you already have receding gums, it’s best to seek treatment before whitening your teeth. 

To check if you have gum recession and plan a way forward for your teeth whitening, contact Dental Avenue Maroubra.

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