Teeth whitening trend could go too far - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teeth whitening trend could go too far

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - From the dentist's chair to drug stores, products claim to brighten your smile to that Hollywood white but the trend could go too far.

Teeth whitening is a $14 billion industry.

Millions of Americans are asking for the most popular cosmetic dental procedure. The problem is, some people take things too far and end up with some painful side effects.

"You can bleach too much to where your teeth are very sensitive," said Dr. Jonathon Rusnak. "It's kind of like a shock wave through your tooth."

A shocking pain only dulled by gels you have to apply to relieve the sensitivity. And worse, you could feel the burn.

"You can end up burning your gums," said Dr. Rusnak.

White spots can appear on your gums. They are literally bleach burns.

Over the counter teeth whitening kits come with strict instructions, like the Rembrandt two-hour whitening kit. It should last you up to a month, but users often crave touch-ups.

"Problem is whitening strips you put over the top of your teeth you cant really get in between your teeth so you can get shadows," said Dr. Rusnak.

Dentist-grade bleach is often faster, but needs a professional to monitor the dosage.

Then there is zoom, a UV light that activates bleach and transforms smiles several shades whiter in just a couple of hours.

Experts recommend you aim for a color that matches the whites of your eyes.

Studies show that some whitening toothpastes that contain chemicals like hydrogen peroxide could also damage your teeth and make them more sensitive.

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