I am self-whitening my teeth after Invisalign because my dentist’s whitening fee is too expensive, and she is not willing to give me a discount. I kept all my Invisalign trays, so I use the last set for whitening. I bought carbamide peroxide gel and use it as directed. I’ve used the gel for more than a week, and now my gums are red and burning. Have I permanently damaged my gums? Are the Invisalign trays making my gums burn? Thank you. Alondra from Lansing, MI
Thank you for your question. Although some dentists approve of patients using Invisalign trays for teeth whitening, not all agree. We recommend pausing your whitening treatment and letting a dentist examine your teeth and gums.
Why Does Bleaching Gel Burn Your Gums?
When teeth bleaching gel burns your gums, several causes may include:
- Bleaching trays – Your Invisalign trays may not fit properly. Although the Invisalign trays fit well for aligning your teeth, bleaching gel may be oozing out onto your gums and burning them. Custom trays that fit well seal the gel against your teeth and do not release it onto your gums.
- Bleaching gel strength – You mentioned that you purchased carbamide peroxide gel. The gel strength may be too intense for your teeth and gums. A lower-strength gel may help.
- Bleach gel contents – Although you purchased bleaching gel that contains carbamide peroxide, it may contain irritants that burn your gums.
- Too much bleaching gel – Avoid over-filling the bleaching trays or leaving the gel on too long.
Are Your Burned Gums Permanently Damaged?
Burned gums from bleaching gel may turn white and peel. They will recover in a week or two, but you should discontinue treatment until you see a dentist to determine why they are burning.
When Can You Resume Teeth Whitening?
You can resume teeth whitening when you know what is causing discomfort and are sure that your bleaching trays fit well. Although your dentist’s rates for whitening are more than you want to pay, consider these suggestions and facts.
- Schedule an exam with your dentist or another dentist to examine your teeth and gums and ensure you do not require treatment to help your gums heal.
- Check other dentists’ costs for whitening. Some dentists have options to make whitening affordable.
- A dentist will take impressions of your teeth for custom bleaching trays to whiten your teeth without burning your gums.
- A dentist will give you a strength of bleaching gel compatible with your teeth and gum sensitivity.
Burba Dental’s cosmetic dentists in Salem, Massachusetts, sponsor this post.