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Did Zoom Whitening Impair My Taste?

Female open mouth with tongue depressorEver since I got Zoom whitening in August, my taste has been impaired. Sometimes it goes away completely. I am not sure what the process did because the bleach was not on my tongue, and the dentist kept rinsing my teeth after each session. I don’t understand it. What is there about the Zoom process that might impair my taste? Thank you. Regina from Ohio


Thank you for your question. We understand your concern. Loss of taste affects your ability to enjoy eating. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 200,000 people visit a doctor each year because of lost or impaired taste.

Can Zoom Whitening Impair Taste?

Zoom whitening and other types of in-office professional whitening are not related to impaired or lost taste. But taste disorders can be caused by different factors. Although your loss of taste began after your Zoom whitening sessions, another issue must have caused it.

Not Zoom but Opalescence Boost in-office whitening applied to a patient's teeth
Zoom and other types of in-office whitening do not impair taste

Some causes of taste disorders

  • Middle ear and upper respiratory infections
  • Ear, nose, or throat surgery
  • Radiation therapy of the head or neck
  • Head injury
  • Exposure to certain chemicals or medications
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Certain medical conditions, including sinus and allergy issues, hormonal disturbances, dental problems, and more
  • Genetics
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Age  (60+)

Should You Do Anything About Loss of Taste?

If you lose your taste, or if it is impaired, please do not ignore it. Loss of taste or impaired taste can ultimately affect your health. It can cause you to eat too little or too much. And it can cause you to add too much sugar or salt to your food, which can lead to diabetes or high blood pressure complications. Loss of taste can even cause depression.

Consult an otolaryngologist (ENT) for your taste disorder to find out the cause and treatment methods.

Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.

My Front Tooth Implant Makes My Gums Uneven

After getting an implant for my left front tooth, the gumline is still higher than my other teeth. My dentist said that the temporary crown would give my gumline a chance to settle, but it has been almost three months, and the unevenness makes my $5,400 implant look fake. Is this issue likely to resolve on its own? – Thanks, Jon from Allentown, PA


Thank you for your question.

Before dental implant surgery, a dentist or oral surgeon must determine the optimal position for your implant so that it looks like it is coming out of your gums—not sitting on your gumline.

Sometimes a temporary implant crown allows the gum to grow down to the crown. But if it has been almost three months and you do not see any improvement, your dentist needs to intervene.

Especially if your gumline shows when you smile, you want it to be even with the rest of your teeth. You can insist that your dentist corrects the issue while you are wearing the temporary crown. Otherwise, your final implant crown may not look any better.

What to Do About an Uneven Gumline After Dental implants

Diagram of three phases of a dental implant: separate compoonent, implant screw in the bone, and the crown attached
Gum graft surgery can even your gumline around an implant

If your gumline is uneven after dental implants, it could require additional surgery. If you have enough gum tissue above the implants, a dentist or periodontist can stretch and secure it over the edge of your dental crown. Otherwise, a dentist can take gum tissue from the roof of your mouth,

If your dentist is not skilled with gum grafting or contouring, you can look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training to complete the work. Consider scheduling a second opinion with a skilled cosmetic dentist to discuss your options. You will get natural-looking results that help your dental implant blend with your natural teeth.


Thomas J. Goebel, DDS, of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.

What Can I Do About Tooth and Gum Pain from Acid Reflux?

Man holding the side of his face, for information on dental crowns for acid refluxI was diagnosed with GERD earlier this year. I’ve been on and off medication, but now I am changing my diet and doing other things to minimize the problem. My gums burn, and my teeth are so sensitive that it hurts to chew food. Two weeks ago, I saw my dentist, and she said that if the problem continues, she will recommend crowns to protect them from reflux. Are crowns necessary, or is there some coating that can protect my teeth? Thanks for your help. –  Anatoly from NY


Thank you for choosing our office for your question.

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) is a disorder that causes fluid from the stomach to back up into the esophagus. When the acid backs up into your mouth, it can burn your gums and erode your teeth. Also, medications used to help control the issue can cause dry mouth—limiting saliva production and saliva’s bacteria-fighting effects.

How Can You Prevent Acid Reflux from Eroding Your Teeth?

The based way to prevent acid reflux from damaging your teeth is to get the disorder under control. As you mentioned, dietary changes can help. Avoiding spicy and acidic foods and drinks can help calm your stomach. In the article, Erosion – Stomach Upset and Your Teeth, the American Dental Association also recommends these precautions:

  • Avoid eating food at least three hours before bedtime
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production
  • See your dentist regularly to help protect your teeth

Dental Care for Acid Reflux

  • Fluoride treatment – Your dentist can recommend fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth and minimize sensitivity.
  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth – Toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, can minimize sensitivity.
  • Rinsing your mouth – Thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after every meal to neutralize the stomach acid and protect your teeth.
  • Dental crowns – Covering your back teeth with crowns will protect them from stomach acid. But over time, acid can seep in, attack your teeth, and weaken the crowns.

Thomas Goebel, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in Moline, Illinois, sponsors this post.