Australian dentists issue warning over dangerous DIY tooth whitening

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The Australian Dental Association has issued a warning over the dangers of DIY tooth whitening following an increase in the number of patients visiting their dentist with symptoms like mouth ulcers and chemical burns. 

Tooth whitening has become incredibly popular in the last decade as a result of the proliferation of the selfie and reality TV shows and emerging beauty trends. While dentist-approved professional treatments produce amazing results in a safe setting with minimal risk to health, products that are bought online and treatments administered by people who don’t have dental expertise can pose serious health risks. 

Dentist, Norah Ayad, said that the worst case she has seen is a patient who came to the practice with severely burned gums. The patient had ulcers all over her mouth because the bleach, which was supposed to lighten the tooth enamel, had come into contact with tissue on the tongue, the inside of the cheeks, the lips and the gums. The patient was in a great deal of pain, and the recovery process took several weeks. 

Social media influencers and celebrities have endorsed a number of whitening products and systems online, and dentists are concerned by the spike in cases of patients seeking treatment after using DIY whitening products. Dr Ayad said that she is seeing at least one patient per week, and this is a trend that doesn’t seem to showing signs of slowing down. Most people who end up at her Gold Coast practice with burns and ulcers are in their early 20s and they have seen adverts on social media and assumed that the treatments were safe to use.

The advice from the Australian Dental Association is to see your dentist if you’re interested in professional whitening treatments that are both safe and effective.

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