Gum Recession

Table of Contents

What Is The Link Between Teeth Whitening and Gum Recession?

Gum Recession

What Is Gum Recession?

Gum recession is a condition in which the gums recede from the surface of the teeth, thus exposing the teeth. Gum receding is one of the types of periodontal disease, and it is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. In severe cases, gum recession can lead to tooth loss. There are several treatment methods for this problem, and the periodontist chooses the best treatment depending on the severity of the disease. The sooner this problem is diagnosed, its treatment will be more effective.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is when your dentist removes stains and discoloration from teeth to make them milky white.

Your dentist will apply a whitening gel with up to 40% hydrogen peroxide and use a unique lamp or laser to clean the teeth. Your lips, gums, and tongue will be covered to prevent the gel from acting on anything other than your teeth.  

You can also whiten your teeth at home with a whitening kit which usually comes in gel form. The kits also have a smaller version of the light and will provide instructions on how to do it.

What are the benefits of teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a safe and life-enhancing procedure that can positively impact your physical appearance and mental health. Here are the benefits of teeth whitening:

  1. Teeth whitening increases your self-confidence
    By whitening your teeth, your confidence will skyrocket. Whether at work, on a date, giving a speech, or just walking down the street, a smile with bright teeth gives you confidence. Whiter teeth also show others that you care for yourself and your appearance. People around you can feel it!
  2. Teeth whitening improves your appearance.
    You may have the healthiest teeth and the most beautiful smile, but you’re not immune to damage from everyday food and drink residue. Foods, coffee, tea and soft drinks stain your teeth over time. After teeth whitening, you will immediately notice the colour change. Teeth whitening helps fight stains from your everyday food and drink.
  3. Your mouth will be healthier.
    Oral health should be a part of any dental procedure because overall health is of utmost importance. Poor oral health can lead to many problems in your life.

Teeth Whitening and Gum Recession

Causes of Gum Recession 

Over Brushing

Aggressive brushing. Rough brushing. Or over-brushing if you like. They’re all talking about the same thing. You fail to develop an appropriate dental technique because you believe the pressure is due to a white smile.

Can you replace a toothpick with a needle to get little food particles off your tooth? You’d hurt yourself. That’s precisely what happens when you brush roughly. You injure your gums, causing bleeding gums and initiating gum recession in the process.

Whitening Strips

And all other whitening formulas you’ve ever heard of. If you’re using them after consultations with your local dentist, that’s not a problem.

Problems usually arise when there’s excessive use of these chemicals as they contain very corrosive ingredients that can destroy the gums.

Gum Disease

Infections caused by bacteria can destroy the gums and cause the bone underneath that holds the teeth to atrophy. Gum disease and inflammation is the leading cause of gum recession.


Some people are more prone to gum disease. Research shows that up to 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease (regardless of their healthcare practices).


Tobacco makes the plaque stick to the teeth more, and on the other hand, it becomes more difficult to remove it. Smokers are more prone to gum recession.

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Copperhills Family Dentistry specialists provide specialized dental services that help our patients cultivate healthy and happy smiles. We’re happy to provide compassionate care coupled with cutting-edge technology.

Can teeth whitening cause gum recession?

It’s possible teeth whitening causes gum recession because the whitening agents in the gel (the peroxide) can irritate your gums. The peroxide acts similarly to bleach; if it gets onto your gums, you’ll feel a burning sensation.
You may develop white spots on your gums. In addition, the chemical may cause the gums to become inflamed, which can lead to infections. Weak gums and infections are usually one of the leading causes of gum recession.
Home teeth whitening is more likely to cause these dental issues. There is a significantly lower risk of gum recession if a dentist performs your whitening treatment. As mentioned earlier, the dentist takes extra precautions to cover your gums so the chemicals don’t end up in the wrong places. In addition, they monitor any irritation and can quickly act before it gets out of hand.

Gum Recession

Can you whiten teeth with receding gums?

What if you already have a gum recession? Can you whiten your teeth?
No, using teeth-whitening substances is not advisable if you have receding gums. Your gums should be thick and in good health; otherwise, you risk further complications.
Also, gum recession leaves your roots exposed. The roots lack the enamel layer which covers the teeth, meaning they will be more severely affected by whitening chemicals. The peroxides can cause the roots to become thinner and more sensitive to irritations and colds, plus the risk of tooth decay becomes much higher.

How Do You Whiten Teeth where Gums Have Receded?

It is entirely appropriate to whiten your teeth with receded gums. Use a strong Fluoride toothpaste (Fluoride) before and during the treatment for a minimum of 1 week.

Procedures before and after teeth whitening

Procedures performed in the dentist’s office:

  • The dentist places the cheek retractor in place and examines the teeth to ensure their health of the teeth.
  • The dentist uses a whitening gel and activates the laser light. The first treatment session takes 12 to 15 minutes.
  • After the first treatment session ends, a new layer of whitening gel is used, and the second treatment session, which takes 15 minutes, begins.
  • The fourth step is repeated once more to complete the third treatment session.
  • The dentist will remove the cheek retractor, and then you can see the result of the treatment.

Care for the first 24 hours:

  • Avoid drinks like tea, coffee and juice that can cause black spots.
  • Avoid foods that cause dark spots, such as bloons, soy sauce, red meat, chocolate and all fruits except bananas.
  • Avoid all foods and drinks that leave stains on the white shirt.
  • Avoid smoking for 24 hours. Smoking causes stains on the teeth.
  • There is nothing wrong with using electronic cigarettes in moderation.
  • Avoid using coloured toothpaste (red and blue) or mouthwash for 24 hours.


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