You no doubt have some expectations for your first attempt at teeth whitening—and that's a whiter smile, with the surfaces of your teeth progressively lightening over the coming days and weeks. You probably don't expect extreme and possibly painful irritation to your gums and the other soft tissues in your mouth, perhaps accompanied by localized swelling. What does this reaction indicate?
Allergy or Sensitivity
You could be experiencing an allergy or sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide, which is an active ingredient in most teeth-whitening gels. Although hydrogen peroxide is a fairly common chemical agent, this may be the first time it has been placed in direct, prolonged contact with your body. Your symptoms may be similar to contact dermatitis. Only a doctor can confirm this specific reaction after appropriate allergen testing, but it's crucial that you don't take any unnecessary risks—and you should immediately discontinue the use of the teeth whitening product.
Does this allergy or sensitivity mean that you can't whiten your teeth? Not necessarily. It can mean that the primary conventional method for teeth whitening is unsuitable in your case. There are, of course, less potent methods for at-home teeth whitening. Many whitening toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide and should be avoided. There are, however, a range of whitening toothpastes that gradually whiten teeth using baking soda. This has a very minor abrasive effect, which can help exfoliate stains away from the surfaces of your teeth.
Unfortunately, the effects of baking soda teeth whitening can be negligible and may take some time to become apparent. Deeply-ingrained stains can be unaffected. You need to make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. However, they won't be whitening your teeth—or at least, not in the conventional sense.
When compared to teeth whitening, dental bonding is perhaps one of the lower-profile cosmetic dental services, although the results can be striking. It utilizes the same tooth-colored resin that a dentist uses to fill a cavity. The resin is mixed to create the desired shade of white. Your teeth are then lightly etched to encourage adhesiveness. The resin is applied in a thin layer, smoothed, and polished. It can be immediately dried using a light design specifically for this purpose, so there's no waiting for results.
The resin has now formed the new outward-facing surface of your teeth, and this resin can be as white as you desire. Your bonded teeth have been substantially whitened without using teeth whitener. In short, hydrogen peroxide sensitivity shouldn't stop you from whitening your teeth, even if your route is a less conventional one.
For more help, reach out to a cosmetic dentist near you.