Pain and soreness in your mouth can slow down your entire life, and can have any number of causes. Whitening toothpastes may be made for your teeth, but what about your gums? If you’ve noticed any soreness, redness, or sores along your gum line, your whitening toothpaste may be the problem.
Can whitening toothpaste cause sore gums?
Whitening toothpastes are made with abrasives and peroxides, which can irritate tissues and cause gum pain and soreness.
Before starting any whitening toothpaste, remember to use a very small amount on a small area to test for a reaction – especially if you are sensitive! You may even want to use some toothpaste outside of your mouth, like on the inside of your elbow. This will let you test out the product without putting your already-tender mouth at risk!
Abrasive materials are often added to toothpastes for the added whitening effect. These materials will help scrub away surface stains without harsher chemicals.
However, these abrasives can be harsh, and cause weakening of your enamel – the surface layer of your teeth.
Keep an eye out for calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, and hydrated aluminum oxides. These are gentler abrasives that may cause less irritation.
Peroxides are used in whitening toothpastes for their cleaning and whitening properties. They are harsher cleaners, which can cause damage to tissues if used in too strong concentrations.
If you notice irritation, check your toothpaste’s ingredient list for any kind of peroxide. If this seems to be the problem you may want to seek out a lower concentration.
As an alternative, you may want to try a toothpaste that uses enzymes in their place. Enzyme – like the papaya extract ‘papain’ – are useful in that they can break down stains without damaging teeth or the surrounding tissue. These are not as powerful in cleaning teeth, but are much more healthy for the surrounding tissue.
If you start to experience any of these issues when you start using whitening toothpaste, stop using right away. A salt-water rinse will help remove any remaining irritants and the issues should resolve on their own.
Absolutely discuss the problem with your dentist, especially if it lingers! They will know if there is anything that can be done to help the healing process. If you want to continue whitening, also discuss this with your dentist as they may be aware of gentler options.
If you’re determined to stick it out, check out our best options for gentle whitening toothpastes that are still effective.
Can Whitening Toothpaste Cause Teeth Sensitivity
Yes. Abrasives and whitening agents can wear down the enamel layer of your teeth, resulting in sensitivity. This is especially noticeable when eating cold foods. Some toothpastes, such as Sensodyne Whitening Toothpaste, will whiten your teeth while also helping your sensitivity.
Can Teeth Whitening Cause Gum Recession
Yes. Gum recession can be caused by damage to sensitive soft tissues, so if you’re concerned, watch out for any irritation at your gums! Speak to your dentist if you have any concerns about receding gumline or oral health.