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Risk of Teeth Whitening

12 Nov, 2015

Risk of Teeth Whitening

Dreaming about having whiter teeth like your favorite movie star? In today's world, it's possible with the help of whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter whitening strips and gels, tray-based whitening products, in-office whitening, bondings and veneers.
But before you try these products and procedures, consult a good dentist to determine which technique is good for you. While there's nothing wrong with improving your appearance, teeth whitening isn't for everyone. Factors to consider when choosing a method are cost, time, the kind of stains you have and side effects.
In general, yellowish stains are the most common and the easiest to remove. They respond well to whitening toothpastes, and peroxide-based whitening gels and strips that you can purchase at any drugstore.
Brown stains are more difficult to whiten and may require tray-based whitening products or in-office bleaching that uses a stronger whitening solution. Gray or purplish teeth that are caused by tetracycline or other drugs are the most difficult to correct and may be helped by laser-enhanced whitening or veneers.
"Blue-gray staining caused by tetracycline is more difficult to lighten and may require up to six months of home treatments or several in-office appointments to successfully lighten. Teeth that have dark stains may be better candidates for another lightening option, such as veneers, bonding, or crowns. Your dentist can discuss the options best suited for you," said WebMD and the Cleveland Clinic Department of Dentistry.
Unfortunately, teeth whitening is a no-no for some people regardless of the color of their teeth. Children under 16 should not undergo bleaching. The same goes for pregnant or lactating women.
People with numerous tooth-colored fillings as a result of veneers, bonding, crowns and bridges should also be aware that these materials don't whiten. Thus, if you plan to undergo whitening, do it first before you have your teeth filled. Otherwise, this results in uneven whitening - teeth without restorations will appear lighter than those with restorations.
Naturally, whitening is not advised for individuals who are allergic to the whitening agent. Ignoring this advice for the sake of looking good can spell trouble.
"Individuals with sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums and/or defective restorations should consult with their dentist prior to using a tooth whitening system. Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product," warned WebMD.
"Individuals with gum disease or teeth with worn enamel are generally discouraged from undergoing a tooth whitening procedure. Cavities need to be treated before undergoing any whitening procedure. This is because the whitening solutions penetrate into any existing decay and the inner areas of the tooth, which can cause sensitivity. Also, whitening procedures will not work on exposed tooth roots because roots do not have an enamel layer," it added.
Two common side effects of whitening are tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the gums. This can be avoided by stopping the whitening process for two to three days to allow your teeth to adjust to the solution and using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
"Tooth sensitivity often occurs during the early stages of the bleaching treatment. Tissue irritation most commonly results from an ill-fitting mouthpiece tray rather than the tooth-bleaching agent. Both of these conditions usually are temporary and disappear within 1 to 3 days of stopping or completing treatment," WebMD concluded.
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