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Can Teeth Whitening Aggravate My TMJ?

Posted by writeradmin

I have been whitening my teeth and my dentist told me to wear the trays one hour a day. I feel like this is aggravating my TMJ Disorder. Recently, I read about the Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System. The advertisement said it worked in just five minutes a day. I feel like this would be better for my jaw aches. Do you know anything about this system? Does it actually work?


Dear Gisheera,

Teeth Whitening Trays in their case

I believe I have a solution for you, but first, let’s look at your other question. Looking at the Tanda Pearl system, it appears to be just your basic teeth whitening system. The gel is similar to what you would get with something like Opalescence. They say their Ionic system makes it more potent and helps with tooth sensitivity. I have some doubts about that. I think the low sensitivity issue is just from patients only wearing the gel for 5 minutes. They don’t give any information about it, which I find suspicious. If it were truly that groundbreaking, they could make a fortune selling it to dentists.

In reality, I think it would be less effective. Here is why. If you look at the image above for professional teeth whitening trays you will notice there is one for each arch of your teeth. Additionally, they are custom-fitted to your bite for reasons we’ll go over in just a moment. This is not the case with the Tanda Pearl System.

Instead, they give you one tray which you have to form yourself. Here are the problems with that.

You Will Have More Jaw Pain with Tanda Pearl

Because there is only one tray for both arches of your teeth, you have to hold it in yourself. This means clamping down your jaw for the full five minutes. I believe this will aggravate your TMJ more than what you’ve currently got going on.

The Whitening Will Be Diluted

Because the tray will not be custom fit to your bite, some saliva will get mixed in with the whitening gel. This will weaken its effectiveness causing you to need more gel in order to get the same results.

Your Gums Will Experience Sensitivity

Just as saliva will make its way to inside your gel tray, some of your gel will leak out. This can lead to sensitivity to your gums. You don’t want to add pain to the situation.

The Solution

The first thing I would do is double check that your trays were fit to your bite. There should have been a mold made before you were given your trays. Second, you do not have to whiten for an hour a day. If that bothers you, cut down the time. I would try to do it no less than fifteen minutes so it has time to soak into your teeth, but an hour isn’t necessary. The only thing the hour does over fifteen minutes is allow your teeth to whiten faster.

I would also make sure you are receiving treatment for your TMJ Disorder. There are ways to improve your outcome. Just make sure you are seeing a dentist who has TMJ Training.

This blog is brought to you by Arnold, MD Dentist Dr. Esposito.