A 42-year-old woman suffered an allergic reaction to a cheap teeth whitening treatment leaving her with what looked like "botched lip fillers."
Cheap Teeth Whitening Treatment
Clare Clark, a manager at a university, decided to grab the special deal when she saw it on Facebook in January. The treatment offered teeth whitening to be administered by a beautician at home for just $80. She had earlier paid between $200 and $260 for the same treatment.
It turned out she got more than she bargained for. When she woke up the next morning after the treatment, she found that her top lip had swollen and her mouth was so blistered she could hardly eat or talk. She said she looked like as if she had botched lip fillers.
Her condition improved after around 48 hours but her mouth was still full of blisters that took longer time to heal. She had to live on a diet of soup for days since consuming anything else was painful. She also struggled to talk.
When she contacted the person who did the treatment, she was told it looked like she had an allergic reaction, but the person could not offer more from a medical point of view.
"Personally, I believe it happened because my lip sagged down over the mouthguard and came into contact with the bleaching gel," Clark said of what she thought caused the reaction during the treatment.
Dangers Of Tooth Whitening By Non-dental Professionals
Clark is now fully recovered, but she is now warning people to have their teeth whitening treatment done by a dentist.
Dental experts stress the importance of getting treatments from a dentist. For one, they use prescription-only whitening gels that are also regulated. The materials used by non-dental professionals for tooth whitening may cause many complications, which include sensitivity, burns to the mouth and gums, and swelling of the lips and tongue.
Research has also shown the potential dangers of over-the-counter teeth whitening products. In a study presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting last month, researchers said that hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in over-the-counter whitening strips, can harm the collagen of the teeth.
"We sought to further characterize what the hydrogen peroxide was doing to collagen," said Kelly Keenan, from Stockton University in New Jersey. "Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragment."