Your teeth are front and center when you smile, talk, or eat. If your teeth are yellowing or stained, you may be looking into teeth whitening. While there are many different types of teeth whitening kits you can purchase from drugstores or on the Internet, whitening your teeth at home presents a few dangers. Having your teeth whitened by a dentist who can oversee the whitening treatment and help select the right whitening agents for you can help you avoid these dangers. Here are three of the dangers associated with whitening your teeth at home. 

You Can Wear Down the Enamel On Your Teeth

One of the dangers associated with using teeth whitening products incorrectly or overusing them is the risk of wearing down the enamel on your teeth. The enamel on your teeth is not something that grows back or regenerates. Once it wears thin, there is nothing you can do to correct that. Enamel that starts to wear thin can cause your teeth to look gray or stained and/or can lead to increased tooth sensitivity. You may feel pain or sensitivity especially when you eat or drink very hot or very cold items. 

You Can Irritate or Harm Your Gums

If you have gum disease or sensitive gums, teeth whitening can irritate your gums. Additionally, even if your gums are in great shape, some people are simply more sensitive to the hydrogen peroxide that is often used in over-the-counter whitening agents. You can irritate your gums, causing them to become inflamed, swollen, red, or even bloody when using at-home teeth whitening gels, pastes, and strips. 

Your Teeth Can Become Translucent

One of the lesser-known dangers associated with whitening your teeth using at-home teeth whitening kits is that your teeth may become translucent, rather than white. This is far more common if you suffer from a condition that may have already affected your teeth, such as bulimia or cancer treatments, and/or if you over-whiten your teeth. 

At-home whitening kits are designed to work for most people. However, they do not work for everyone and can present dangers for some people. Additionally, using too much of the whitening agent for too long can also increase the risk of developing one or more of these issues. If you are looking to whiten your teeth, a dentist can work with you to find a product that is ideal for your teeth and use it properly so you do not encounter these issues.