The Scary Reason Teeth Whitening Covered This Teen’s Mouth With Third Degree Burns

There’s nothing quite like polishing up your pearly whites for a beautiful, white smile that gives you an extra boost of confidence, but the opposite happened for U.K. teen Abbie Kilbride when she decided to get her teeth whitened. According to her Facebook post, Kilbride says that when the treatment was complete, her whole mouth was numb, assuming it was because she had a gum shield in her mouth for over an hour, but when she looked in the mirror, her lips were actually quite swollen. The next morning things were even worse, and her lips were “literally stuck together” and the right side of her lips was huge, saying it looked like she just stepped out of a boxing ring. A day and multiple physician consultations later, Kilbride ended up in a dental hospital with experts telling her that her entire mouth suffered third degree burns and a possible allergic reaction, leaving eating and speaking close to impossible until treated. The good news, however, is that this kind of outcome is not common, as it turns out that Kilbride did not visit a certified dentist at all. When you stick to over-the-counter kits and well (and officially) trained dentists, you have no reason to worry. 

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While these photos are severe and concerning, they serve as a reminder that peroxide, the main chemical found in teeth whiteners and whitening kits, can be dangerous when used improperly. New York cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg, DDS, says that the most detrimental thing we can be doing with is overusing whitening trays by placing too much peroxide gel in our mouths. “The excess gel will overflow the tray and sit on the gum causing burning and irritation to the gum tissue or possible ulcers, which will eventually heal,” Dr. Lowenberg explains, adding that the possibility of “burning” your gums with high concentrations of peroxide is greater when you keep the trays on longer than your dentist recommends. Plus, if you overdo it with the whitening trays and strips, your teeth can be come super sensitive because of the extended contact with the peroxide gel. The solution? Do your homework before seeing any oral health specialist, and only use the recommended amount or dosage as directed by your dentist.