“Symptoms include burning gums, tooth infection and the conviction that, no matter how much a tooth has been whitened, it could be paler still.
Perhaps predictably, it has caught on in Britain. Almost a third of Britons are now preoccupied with whitening their teeth, and research this week revealed the highest-earning cosmetic dentists made a collective turnover of £1 billion last year — a 22 per cent increase from 2010.
‘When it is done properly, tooth whitening is a simple and safe way of improving your appearance,’ says cosmetic dentist Dr Mervyn Druian. ‘But if it is performed in an unregulated fashion, with the wrong product, it can cause enamel erosion, receding gums and infection.’”
Click here to view the Daily Mail’s article “wrecking their looks for that million dollar smile” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3022262/Addicted-teeth-whitening-Dubbed-bleachorexics-women-risk-wrecking-looks-million-dollar-smile.html.
Dr Sultan’s thoughts –
“A few new words to add to our dictionaries. We are all aware of anorexia – the emotional disorder to lose weight. We now have bigorexia the need for boys to put on muscle mass due to peer pressure and a newer one bleachorexia – the desire to have teeth as white as possible. Clean white teeth are highly desirable they are a mark of health and social status for many.
Malcom Gladwell the famous writer has written that in the future we will make spot judgements on the social status of people by two factors, their weight and their teeth. But the desire for whiter and whiter teeth can lead to real problems. First there is an unregulated market that tries to take advantage of this desire by flogging cut price products of questionable safety. There is a legal limit to concentrations that health professionals are allowed to use and even then the side effects may include tooth sensitivity. In an unregulated market products may be harmful, one case I read about was using a concentrated acid that caused severe sensitivity, damage to the teeth and ulcers to the soft tissues.
We often get patients referred in for root canal treatment and on taking a full history tell the patients that they don’t need treatment they just need to stop bleaching. If you’re teeth are sensitive-just stop!”
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