Every year, millions of patients worldwide bleach their teeth using various products. Whether prescribed by a dentist or purchased over-the-counter, almost every effective whitening method utilizes some type of peroxide gel. When used correctly, they are all safe and effective ways to lighten the color of your teeth. Read on to catch the full story!
Peroxides (hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, etc.) whiten teeth by breaking down the pigmented compounds in the tooth's dentin layer (between the enamel and pulp). To reach this space, these products rely on opening up small gaps in the dentin called microtubules. This can cause a temporary sensitivity to air and cold liquids. However, the tubules quickly re-mineralize and close in a matter of hours. For cases of extreme sensitivity, we may recommend extra fluoride applications to dull the ache.
Research shows that whitening causes no long term negative effects on teeth. However, prescription strength whitening procedures (zoom whitening or custom bleach trays) have the potential to irritate or discolor the gum tissue. This is why it is important to follow the dentist's directions carefully. It is also important to note that over whitening can cause the teeth to have a blue tint that many patients find undesirable.
When performed correctly, whitening is an easy and convenient way to improve the cosmetics of your smile. If you would like to discuss your tooth whitening options, please give our office a call!