We’ve had patients ask us about whitening toothpaste and if there are any harmful side effects. The quick answer is no – however, you may experience sensitivity which would qualify as a “bad side effect” and this will vary from person to person.
The sensitivity will depend on how much enamel you have on your teeth. As your enamel wears away on your teeth, the layer below will obviously become more unveiled. This layer is called dentine which also acts as a helpful little shield from the nerve in each tooth. Since we live in Wisconsin – let’s compare these layers to CHEESE. Enamel is definitely a hard block of parmesan. When this layer gets grated down…..the swiss – the dentine layer – now has to put in WERK. The dentine is swiss cheese because there’s tiny holes going on there that open up when you use whitening toothpaste, thus exposing the nerve more and creating that sharp sensitivity pain. On the opposite end of the spectrum, sensitive toothpaste acts more as a barrier and clogs up these holes so you do not experience those ouchies. And if you’ve ever had them before….you know! So. Many. Feels.
It’s important to note however, that if you really want to significantly WHITEN your teeth, whitening toothpaste probably isn’t the most ideal solution for you. Most whitening toothpastes are meant to clean teeth, prevent cavities, and whiten…..and in that order. So they only contain a small concentration of the whitening chemical because they also contain protective tooth decay ingredients such as fluoride. If you don’t experience sensitivity, it would be worth exploring other whitening options. <—– check ours out!
To read a little more on the topic see also: Sharp Pains in Your Teeth after Bleaching – WHY?!
Information compiled from staff at Szmanda Dental Center 2015.