Whitening your teeth will not cause any permanent damage to your gums; however temporary gum irritation is among the risk factors of using professional teeth whitening. Soft tissue or gum irritation caused by teeth whitening gel is considered a chemical burn, very comparable to a sunburn. When a chemical burn occurs, the area becomes mildly sore, turns white, and will eventually flake off. The tissue will return to normalcy within twenty-four hours.
Due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide in the whitening Gel, chemical burns can occur whether you are at dental office or in the comfort of your home. To avoid chemical burns with your custom fitted trays; wipe any excess gel off of your gum tissue using cotton-tipped applicator. With future applications consider using less gel in each tray. Precisely fitted teeth whitening trays are crucial to ensure minimal to no soft tissue irritation.
The healing process begins immediately after a soft tissue burn. Rinsing with warm salt water will promote this process. If a burning sensation occurs, a small drop of Vitamin E oil can be massaged into the tissue until the irritation subsides. Depending on the severity of the gum irritation site, it may be a good idea to discontinue whitening applications until tissue heals. In most cases, tissue burns rarely reoccur as long as the tissue is allowed to heal completely.
In VERY rare instances gum irritation may result in light bleeding. Bleeding is typically a sign of gum disease. It is advised you stop using all teeth whitening products and consult with your dentist before resuming.