No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

3 Potential Side Effects To Common Dental Products -- And How To Treat Them

by Jeremiah Barnett

Your family dentist reminds you at every appointment that proper oral health care is vital to a bright, beautiful smile. So you hit up the drug store and stock up on mouthwashes, toothpastes, and whitening agents to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. But then you start noticing some odd side effects to these common products and you might not be sure what is happening.

While it's always best to see the dentist when a problem arises, here are a few potential side effects to common dental products -- and how to treat the problem.

Mouthwash Causes White Tongue

Does your new mouthwash leave you with a minty taste and a white tongue? The whiteness can resemble thrush, which is an oral yeast infection that requires antibiotic treatment. But if the tongue discoloration only started to appear when you used a new mouthwash, it's likely a case of sloughing, which is another way to say that your tongue's dead skin cells are coming off.

Why did the mouthwash cause the rush of dead skin cells? Check your bottle for the ingredient sodium lauryl sulphate, or SLS. This harmless ingredient can dry out the tongue and cause a sloughing reaction in some people. Simply switch to a mouthwash that doesn't include SLS and your tongue should return to its natural color.

Note that if you don't know for sure if it's sloughing or thrush, see a dentist as soon as possible.

Toothpaste Causes Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Stronger over-the-counter teeth whitening products contain warnings about the potential to make your teeth more sensitive. But whitening toothpastes pose a similar risk for some as the peroxide in the formula temporarily makes the tooth's enamel more porous. This porous nature can better allow hot and cold temperatures to penetrate into the tooth's sensitive dentin.

If you experience increased sensitivity of your teeth or gums following the use of a toothpaste or whitening product, stop using that product immediately. Switch to a toothpaste with a lower concentration of peroxide and use a light hand while brushing until the sensitivity clears up.

Sensitivity isn't clearing up on its own? Visit the dentist to see if there's any permanent damage to your enamel that will cause your teeth to remain sensitive until the damaged enamel is covered.

Started Flossing, Gums are Bleeding

If you recently started flossing, congratulations on taking an important step on your oral health care path. But did your new flossing habit also come with bleeding gums?

You are likely using too much pressure while using the floss and are making small cuts into the soft tissue with the floss wire. Hold the floss tight, but don't shove it up between your teeth. Rather, guide the floss in slowly and securely to thoroughly clean between the teeth and avoid crashing into the gums.

If you have any questions about something that just doesn't feel right about your mouth, visit Havendale Dental Office PA.