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'Bleachorexia': an obsession with white teeth

Last updated 3 years ago

Specialists warn excessive teeth bleaching can turn teeth to 'mush'.
A study finds that although teeth whitening is a quick way to look younger, over bleaching can cause some side effects.  Some dentists are calling this desire to over-bleach "bleachorexia'.  
World Boxing Council champion Mia St. John admitted to this condition.  Stating that there were times were having white teeth was all she could think about.  And that she was brushing and bleaching constantly until her dentist intervened.  "He said my teeth could basically turn into mush, just because I was destroying the enamel," St. John said.
Many whiteners can irritate gums and cause them to recede.  Other possible side effects are over-sensitivity and brittle teeth.  Cosmetic dentist Laurence Rifkin adds that over-bleaching can also have the reverse effect of darkening teeth.  "Once the enamel has been chemically eroded away, then it's gone, it's gone forever," Rifkin said.  The Australian Dental Association president Neil Hewson told Fairfax, "You have to ask yourself, what is their infection-control protocol? Are the bleaches safe? Is the strength of the bleach going to permanently impair my teeth? What training do the operators have?"
Treat Yourself Well clinical psychologist Louise Adams, a member of the Australian Psychological Society, said bleachorexia is not an actual diagnosis but "it's a very trendy way of looking at things at the moment".  "So we've got anorexia, biggerexia, which is what the media were calling men with eating disorders, and we've got orthorexia, an obsession with healthy eating, and now bleachorexia, an obsession with white teeth," Adams said. 
No matter what an obsession concerns, it is ultimately still an obsession.  And in today's growing superficial world it is increasingly important to stay in moderation and to consult an expert with questions and concerns.

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