Dentists warn against viral TikTok teeth-whitening technique

Dentists are warning patients about the potential risks associated with do-it-yourself teeth-whitening trends, according to Health.

A British 18-year-old made a TikTok video showing viewers how she whitens her teeth by applying hydrogen peroxide directly to them with a cotton swab. The post went viral, encouraging many other users to try the method.

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the active whitening agents commonly found in teeth-whitening products, but the bottle seen in the original TikTok contained 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, which is 30 times more than the amount allowed in over-the-counter teeth whitening products in the United Kingdom, where the woman who made the post lives.

"Prolonged bleaching with these high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, especially when used multiple days in a row, can lead to highly irritated gums and sensitive teeth," Los Angeles dentist Chris Strandburg, DDS, told Health. "Gum irritation can get severe if more bleaching is done when the gums are already irritated. Tooth sensitivity is usually temporary (24 hours or so), but significant bleaching can increase tooth sensitivity permanently with long term use."

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