A Los Angeles-based dentist has said that so-called ‘bleachorexics’ could be doing irreversible damage to their teeth by exposing the soft enamel to dangerous chemicals repeatedly over a short period of time. Cosmetic dentist Laurence Rifkin tells Yahoo that over-bleaching is becoming increasingly common and it can strip tooth enamel as well as causing gums to recede over time.
Mr Rifkin said to Yahoo News ‘once the enamel has been chemically eroded away then it’s gone, it’s gone forever.’ The bleaching agent that most whitening products use can make the teeth brittle and chalky, it may also lead to sensitivity.
According to a recent survey carried out by the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry ninety-six per cent of adults believe that a good smile can make a person more attractive, whilst seventy-four per cent think that a bad smile might prevent career progression. Every person asked about their teeth said that if they could improve one thing about their smile it would be to whiten the enamel.
The problem generally develops when patients ignore product guidelines and bleach their teeth more frequently than recommended, with warning signs ranging from sensitivity in the teeth to translucent areas appearing on the enamel.