Is There a Limit to Teeth Whitening Procedures?

Posted by Dr. Soto Nov 23, 2018

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Millions of people suffer from dental discoloration, even those who brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly. Food, environmental factors, and aging eventually leave their mark on the natural radiance of teeth.

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure with great rewards. It eliminates stains and can lighten teeth beyond their natural shade. One looks more attractive, younger, smiles more, and has greater confidence.

However, this popular practice has limitations and drawbacks and is not for everyone.

Candidates for Teeth Whitening 

Ideal candidates for teeth whitening procedures have mild to moderate discolored teeth due to the consumption of cola, coffee, tea, or wine. Discoloration due to genes or antibiotics will have a less dramatic result.

Teeth whitening isn’t suitable for people who:

  • Are under 16 years old because they have undeveloped and enlarged root pulp that gets easily irritated. Teeth whitening may adversely impact the tooth’s pulp chamber and nerve.
  • Are pregnant or nursing because the chemicals used may harm babies.
  • Are allergic to peroxide because the bleaching agents contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
  • Have gum disease, receding gums, exposed roots, or worn enamel. Whitening solutions can get into decaying parts or exposed roots and cause harm and irritation.
  • Have crowns, fillings, and restorations because bleaching agents only work on natural teeth. Bleaching will result in uneven whitening of natural and restored areas, which will need to be replaced to match.
  • Have untreated tooth decay. Cavities need to be treated first, as the teeth-whitening bleach can penetrate through decayed enamel into the inner tooth layers (dentine), causing extreme tooth sensitivity.
  • Have teeth with intrinsic stains. Gray discolorations, white spots, or discoloration from a dead tooth affect the underlying layers of the tooth. Teeth whitening is most effective on extrinsic stains that affect the outer enamel.
  • Grind their teeth or have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. These conditions are exacerbated by whitening trays; in-office teeth whitening is a better option.

Considerations Before Undergoing Teeth Whitening

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind if opting for teeth whitening:

Your results will depend on the existing undertones natural to your teeth. Yellow undertones have higher success rates than brown undertones. Gray undertones are the least responsive.

Results typically last just 1 – 3 years. Smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking coffee or other staining foods and beverages, may cause the whitening last even shorter periods of time.

Tooth and gum sensitivity are the most common side effects of teeth whitening. Half of all the people who undergo the procedure experience some degree of temporary tooth sensitivity. Those with existing dental conditions such as gum recession, cracked teeth or more, have a higher risk of sensitivity.

For teeth whitening, cosmetic or implant dentistry, contact Dr. Ernie Soto at (954) 368-6264 or fill out our online consultation request form to schedule an appointment.

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