Teeth whitening or teeth bleaching is the procedure of whitening the shade of the tooth color. Teeth whitening is most often desired when teeth get yellowed over time due to prolonged usage and is also possible by altering the natural or extrinsic shade of the tooth’s enamel. A variety of methods are used to perform tooth whitening, and all of these techniques have different levels of effectiveness, depending on the degree of whitening needed and the amount of toothpaste or hydrogen peroxide applied to the teeth.
The most common tooth whitening technique is through using gels or mouth trays that contain bleaching agents. These agents are applied to the outermost layer of the teeth, where they oxidize the staining agent underneath, making the teeth lighter in shade. The side effects from this procedure include tooth sensitivity, dry mouth, and gums that feel sore after treatment. Other side effects that may occur include swelling, burning sensations when the bleaching gel is rubbed against the gums, and changes in the whiteness of the smile.
If you have sensitive teeth, then bleaching may not be suitable. Sensitive teeth are those that experience elevated levels of discomfort when a bleaching product is applied to them. Because of this, sensitive teeth should only be treated with extreme caution, and only after the dentist has determined that the side effects listed above are unlikely to occur. Additionally, sensitive teeth do not react well to toothpaste. Teeth whitening products that are formulated to work well with sensitive teeth should be your best bet for tooth whitening.
For those who do not have sensitive teeth or gums, in-office whitening might be a viable option. The in-office whitening process works with an instrument that emits a special chemical that interacts with the surface of your teeth and binds to stains. After the binding occurs, the result is a whiter tooth surface and whiter smile.
Teeth Whitening with Fillings: In many cases, after a patient undergoes a tooth whitening treatment, their dentist will recommend that he or she get in-office whitening using a white fill. Fillings are used to restore missing natural enamel on the teeth. While some patients can successfully get by with wearing dentures, most individuals need to wear these in order to maintain the white color of their smile. One of the most common fillings that dentists use is porcelain. Porcelain is actually extremely resilient against stains, because it is made from a hard substance and does not break down easily. It is also capable of healing cracks and chips that may develop over time, which allows for the filling to remain in place.
Dental bleaching has been proven to greatly enhance a patient’s smile and to lower their risk for developing cavities, gum disease, and even periodontal diseases. Dental bleaches do have some risk involved, however. Any time that you have sensitive teeth that require sensitive cleaning, you need to be absolutely certain that you get the best results possible. The easiest way to determine if you’re going to get the best results is to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss the procedure.