The dangers of using teeth whitening products

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A teeth whitening procedure involves having your teeth bleached using a special whitening product that contains hydrogen peroxide. It is generally a safe procedure, but it can be dangerous if it is not carried out by a properly qualified practitioner.

dental negligenceOnly fully registered and qualified dental professionals are legally allowed to carry out teeth whitening procedures, such as dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists.

It's not always necessary to go to a dentist to whiten your teeth though, as another option is to buy over-the-counter tooth whitening kits. However, you should be aware that for these products to be legal they should only contain 0.1% hydrogen peroxide.

Subsequently, those that abide by the law are often not strong enough to produce the desired results. A registered dentist is allowed to use up to 6% hydrogen peroxide.

If you are buying a teeth whitening kit online then you should also be aware that some products can contain sodium perborate - a substance that is banned in cosmetic products in the UK as it has been linked with foetal abnormalities.

Whether you choose to whiten your teeth yourself at home, or go to the dentist, there are several side effects and risks associated with the procedure you should be aware of beforehand:

Whether you do it yourself or go to the dentist, there are risks and side effects that you should be aware of:

  • However you whiten your teeth, a common side effect to the procedure is tooth sensitivity. If you already suffer from sensitive teeth then it is advisable to either avoid the procedure altoghether or have it done by a registered professional rather than using a home tooth whitening kit.
  • Perhaps the most painful side effect associated with the teeth whitening process is suffering burns to your gums. While this is pretty uncommon and rarely leads to a serious injury, it can be very painful. In some cases unregistered beautician's have attempted tooth whitening illegally and caused serious injury to the patient, such as swollen lips and third-degree burns.
  • The tooth whitening substance can sometimes cause blistering of the gums and lips if it leaks from the teeth.
  • If too much hydrogen peroxide is used, you could swallow the excess amount which can cause abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • If you have gum disease it is not advisable to undergo a tooth whitening procedure without consulting your dentist first.
  • Tooth whitening substances will not whiten any fillings, veneers or crowns you already have.

If you want to undergo a teeth whitening procedure, then we recommend first visiting your dentist. You can ask about the different options available and what the associated risks are.

If you have had a teeth whitening procedure and have suffered an injury or what you consider unnecessary pain and discomfort, then you may be entitled to make a No Win No Fee* dental negligence compensation claim. For more information on how we could help you get in touch today:

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*No win no fee means that you will not be charged if your claim is unsuccessful. If successful, we often charge a success fee that is deducted from the compensation recovered but is capped at a maximum of 25% of the compensation. Termination fees may apply if you breach your retainer.

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