Can Teeth Whitening Cause Receding Gums? | Smile Stories

Can Teeth Whitening Cause Receding Gums?

can teeth whitening cause receding gums

We’re all after that shiny bright smile, it can make you look and feel like a million dollars and it can be obtained with relative ease when performed by a professional.  So it should come as no surprise that teeth whitening is the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in dentistry. It might seem like everyone is getting it done and as a result, it’s becoming more accessible.  It’s an easy, cheap and effective way to improve your smile, but what should we be aware of before we book in and what does the procedure entail?

What is gum recession and will I know if I have it?

Gum recession is when the roots of the teeth become exposed to the outside world and don’t have the protective powers of enamel to keep them safe. It’s not always noticeable to the untrained eye so this is another reason to visit your dentist first before starting any form of cosmetic treatment. 

If you do have gum recession, the exposed tooth becomes sensitive. Ever stepped out into the cold and had a little shock in your teeth? The recession is probably the reason why.

What if I suffer from gum disease?

The solutions used in teeth whitening procedures can irritate the teeth and gums so if you do suffer from even mild gum disease such as gingivitis, you will need to remedy that before you start which is relatively easy and quick to treat.  At Smile Stories, our Hygienists will ensure your gums are healthy before we make your teeth pretty.

What are the benefits of teeth whitening?

Well apart from the painfully obvious benefit of having bright and gorgeous teeth, its our clients tell us it’s boosted their confidence immensely.  It may surprise you to know that those who do get their teeth whitened are much more likely to maintain and even increase the attention they give to their oral health. So regular health checks, and professional hygiene visits mean your whitening result will last, and you’ll prevent any future ailments in your mouth. Never underestimate the power of a great smile.

But can teeth whitening cause gum recession?

Absolutely not, if the whitening is performed under the guidance of a Dental Care Professional. We have seen cases where beauty salons have attempted whitening, which has left the client with a poor result and irritated gums, which can lead to recession.

Your dentist will ensure teeth whitening is performed with few or no side effects or mistakes whatsoever and you are happy with the results achieved. Sure, there are DIY kits out there and you can pop down to your hairdressers to whiten your teeth. But would you go to your local butcher to cut your hair? Of course not. Always see a dental professional prior to starting teeth whitening so they can ensure the process can be carried out safely and effectively.

What does a teeth whitening consultation entail?

The process of teeth whitening with your dentist or hygienist, who will begin with a consultation to ensure you’re suitable. Your dentist will check for tooth sensitivity or thin teeth, and if you have any recession, can apply desensitisers to ensure you can still whiten painlessly.

The secret ingredient to teeth whitening is an initial stain removal clean by the hygienist. This is done to remove any nasties such as plaque, and any other build-up or trapped food. We’ll then create bespoke whitening trays that will fit perfectly around your teeth, enabling you to clean the solution off your gums when you insert them and off you go. You’ll gently brighten and whiten your teeth over the course of a few weeks until your friends need sunglasses to look at you.

The long and short of it is that no teeth whitening does not cause receding gums if supervised by a dental professional, but with any cosmetic procedure it should start with healthy teeth and any pre-existing dental issues should be taken care of first.   

About Smile Stories Teeth Whitening and the authors of ‘Can Teeth Whitening Cause Receding Gums?’

Smile Stories is a cosmetically-focussed dental clinic with a wealth of experience in Professional Teeth Whitening. We offer teeth whitening Bournemouth, as well as a whole host of other cosmetic dental procedures. Get in touch if you’d like to see us.


Dr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) is the co-owner of Smile Stories. Working from Bournemouth & Poole, he takes an interest in aesthetic dentistry. He’s passionate about orthodontics and is a certified Invisalign provider.

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