White teeth make your smile more beautiful. That is why so many Australians have now turned to teeth whitening to improve their appearance. If done responsibly and sparingly, at-home whitening can help you achieve a whiter, more attractive smile — but there are risks. This is especially true if you whiten your teeth too often.

If you whiten your teeth at home too often, you could experience one or even all of the following side effects.

1. Receding gums

When you whiten your teeth too much at home with whitening trays, you could irritate your gums. Irritated gum tissue often recedes, exposing the root surface. As a result, you'll experience sensitivity from hot and cold temperatures, and the recession will be noticeable when you smile.

2. Enamel erosion

Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide penetrate the pores of teeth to remove staining molecules. During this process, the enamel layer softens and becomes prone to erosion. The more you whiten your teeth in a short time span, the more tooth erosion you will experience.

3. Sensitive teeth

One side effect of enamel erosion is sensitivity. Teeth are sometimes a little sensitive to temperature, especially extreme temperatures. But if you whiten your teeth so much that you lose some of your tooth enamel, you'll begin to experience sensitivity all the time, even with mild to moderate temperatures.

4. Darker teeth

Another side effect of enamel erosion is dentin exposure. The spongy, tube-filled layer of material under the enamel is called dentin. This layer is usually yellowish in colour. This is why teeth are often not brilliant white but rather have a slightly yellow hue to them. If you lose enamel to erosion due to over bleaching your teeth, your teeth will become darker due to the dentin showing through.

5. Translucent teeth

Some translucency is normal in healthy teeth, especially around the edges of teeth. But when you over whiten your teeth, your teeth will appear much more translucent than is normal. This will be noticeable when you smile and this is what people will notice rather than your newly whitened teeth.

The safest way to whiten your teeth is at a dental clinic with a dental professional. In-office whitening doesn't take long to do. And you gain the benefit of having a professional who can protect your teeth, and advise you on how best to whiten your teeth safely and effectively in the future.

To learn more, reach out to a company like Dr. Zielinski & Associates Dental Clinic.