Do you want whiter teeth? Who doesn’t? While achieving whiter teeth is a goal for many people, for others, it becomes an obsession and can turn into a dangerous situation that costs time, money and tooth enamel. The situation is known as bleachorexia and is a very real problem for many people.
What Is Bleachorexia?
Bleachorexia is defined as an unhealthy obsession or over-fascination with tooth whitening. It is classified as a form of body dysmorphia. For individuals affected by bleachorexia, they feel that although their teeth are already white, their teeth are not white enough so they must continue to use tooth whiteners to achieve their vision of their smile.
Bleachorexia can cause individuals to seek out and use alternative methods to obtain the “ultimate smile”, such as charcoal toothpaste and whitening products containing high levels of bleaching agents and not approved by the FDA.
Some of the dangers of over-whitening the teeth include:
Changing colors. Excessive whitening of the teeth could make them turn an unnatural shade or become translucent.
Erosion of tooth enamel. Overuse of bleaching products could result in tooth enamel erosion, which can lead to pain, tooth sensitivity and changes to the core structure of the teeth. If this occurs, you may be facing the need for porcelain veneers, crowns, and other restorative treatments so you can live pain-free.
Receding gums. Bleaching agents don’t just touch the teeth, they also touch the gums and other structures of the mouth, too. Products that are too strong can cause the gums to recede and even burn the soft tissue in the mouth.
Can You Achieve Whiter Teeth Safely?
Absolutely, yes, you can. However, the best way to whiten is under the supervision of a dentist. Dr. Korous offers patients safe, in-office whitening procedures and take-home whitening products with professional-grade bleaching agents to help you achieve the smile you want safely. Learn more about our tooth whitening options by calling Millennium Smiles at 972-987-4899.