Teeth whitening or bleaching is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment to change the colour of natural tooth enamel to enhance the beauty of your smile
Why Did My Teeth Change Colour?
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for several reasons:
- Food and Drink
Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense colour pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).
- Tobacco Use
Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colourless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.
Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change colour because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.
Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.
Teeth whitening procedure:
- In-office bleaching utilizes a high concentration of tooth-whitening agents (25–40% hydrogen peroxide).
- In this procedure, first gingival barrier material is used to protect the patient’s gums and soft tissues.it is applied at the gingival margins and light cured prior to the start of the treatment
- Then whitening gel is applied to the teeth and the peroxide will further be activated by light. This cycle takes about 15 to 30mins. The cycle is repeated 2 to 3 times.
- Here, the dentist has complete control throughout the procedure and can stop it when the patient feels mild sensitivity or desired shade/effect is achieved.
Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?
- No, there is no guarantee that whitening works for everyone which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration.
- For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with grey tones may not bleach at all.
- Whitening will not work on crowns, veneers, fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medication or a tooth injury.
- Restored part of the tooth will become more whiter after bleaching
Some potential side effects of teeth whitening include the following:
- There Could Be Discomfort If You Have Sensitive Teeth.
- You May Notice Increased Sensitivity to Hot and Cold.
- Gingival Irritation or ulceration is a Possibility.
How long does teeth bleach last?
- The average teeth bleaching results can last anywhere from six months to one year. In most cases, however, people tend to have results that last about one year.
- If you have a habit of drinking tea, coffee, wine, coloured drinks then your whitened teeth will start fading and come to its original tooth shade even before six months.
Blog by DR. SUPRAJA
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