Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the process of restoring the natural color of the teeth. Another related term to teeth whitening is dental bleaching, which, though considered to be synonym, is a process that whitens the teeth beyond the natural color. These are common procedures in the general dentistry, which use a variety of method to remove the staining and discoloration of the tooth. The teeth generally loose their whiteness with age and due to many other factors.

Causes of staining and tooth discoloration

As a person ages the teeth frequently become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous and phosphate-deficient. Staining of teeth and reduction in brightness can also be caused by:

  • Vegetables rich in carotenoids or xanthonoids
  • Bacterial pigments
  • Eating colored liquids like sports drinks, cola, coffee, tea, and red wine can discolor teeth
  • Certain antibacterial medications (example: tetracycline) can cause teeth stains or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel
  • Foods and oral tobacco products with strong content of pigments.

Poor Oral Hygiene

All of these factors contribute significantly to the yellowing of the teeth. Considering that some of these factors like aging, avoidance of food rich in pigments are unavoidable, the stains and associated issues are quite common.

Although, as noted, some of the factors are themselves unavoidable, however, the result of these, that is, tooth discoloration can be reduced by the process of teeth whitening and bleaching.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

Yellow, stained teeth are often associated with poor oral hygiene and overall health. The person can also get self-conscious and loose self confidence due to the discolored teeth. The removal of stains and recovery of the original color of teeth gives renewed confidence and self esteem within the person. It eliminates the hesitation in smiling which sometimes arises due to the perception by the self and others of the discolored teeth and gives a near permanent solution, depending upon the method chosen, a brilliant smile and a step toward such a life.

The Side effects of bleaching the teeth include:

  • Most common is the risk of increased hot or cold sensitivity.
  • Bleached effect which implies overbleaching, can rarely occur with intensive treatments which use products that provide a large change in tooth color over a very short treatment period like under an hour.
  • Sometimes persons with very sensitive can experience pain.
  • Chemical burns from bleaching with gel can occur if a high-concentration agent contacts unprotected tissues or sensitive teeth.

Teeth Whitening Procedure

Mostly a tray or stent is used in which the whitening/bleaching agent is placed. This tray is then secured to the dentures so that the material can remain in contact of the tooth. At our Dr Simrat’s Dental office in Brampton we also use customized tray or mouthguard by taking an impression of the teeth, to hold the bleach against the teeth, so as to provide maximum effectiveness. The material is used each time for about 3-4 hours for a week or two, and at the end of this time, significant whitening will occur. In some cases, the change is nothing short of brilliant.

Measurement of success

To measure the success of the procedure, whitening shade guides are used compare against the tooth color before, during and after the treatment. The change in shade of the tooth color may vary from two to seven.

Considerations for Teeth Whitening Appointment in Brampton

Tooth whitening methods generally do not change the color of fillings and other restorative materials. It does not affect porcelain, ceramics, or dental filling made of gold. However, it can slightly affect restorations made with composite materials and dental amalgams. Thus, an analysis of current state of the teeth must be made before undertaking any such procedure.

Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies. However, since these products can be sometimes harmful to the gums and teeth, it is recommended to consult a dentist before using the products. Also, for very severely stained teeth, crowns or porcelain veneers may be more appropriate, however, for most teeth whitening at our offices in Brampton and Vida, owned by Dr. Simrat Kaur, is the optimal solution to have better looking teeth and radiant smile.

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