Whitening Methods Can Lead To Costly Damage

added on: November 18, 2014

I recently stumbled across a Pinterest article on a whitening method for teeth. It consisted of mixing lemon juice and baking soda. I cringe when I hear of homemade concoctions such as this because they can cause severe damage to teeth and gums.

Using an abrasive substance such as baking soda can wear down tooth enamel. Add the high acidity of lemon juice and you have a potent combination. Enamel is the protective coating of your tooth, not a solid block of enamel. It does not regenerate itself and once its worn away, porcelain veneers or crowns will be needed to restore the integrity of your teeth.

These whitening methods are just as risky to gum tissue. When an overly-abrasive substance is used to brush teeth, tender gum tissues can be damaged. Having tears in the gums is an open door to oral bacteria, making you more susceptible to gum disease. Keep in mind that the bacteria of gum disease can also enter the bloodstream and cause trigger inflammatory reactions. This bacteria has been linked to heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, preterm babies and even impotency.

Although the ADA states that, when used correctly, whitening strips are safe, they caution that gray and brown tinged teeth won’t respond as well, and sometimes not at all. And, if applied incorrectly or pushed into the gums, whitening strips can also erode enamel and lead to tissue damage below the gums.

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