Mere constant use of the teeth subjects them to wear and tear. Improper care for the teeth makes them vulnerable to all kinds of dental diseases and defects. These dental diseases have adverse effects on dental, and sometimes, the medical health of an individual. The power of healthy oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing cannot be overestimated because of the numerous dental diseases and defects they fortify the teeth against.
Regular brushing and flossing can protect the teeth from decay, gum diseases, tooth discoloration, etc. To some extent, a set of white teeth can tell a lot about the state of an individual’s dental health. This is because the natural color of the teeth at growth is white. The teeth start to develop in a baby around six to twelve months of age, and the teeth at this stage are called baby teeth or milk teeth. Babies possess whiter teeth at growth due to their thinner enamel. The white teeth can be maintained with proper care until the milk teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth.
The permanent teeth upon eruption are not as white as the milk teeth because of the presence of more dentin. In the absence of genetic conditions that cause severe discoloration, the permanent teeth are relatively white. However, with the constant use of permanent teeth and advancement in age, the teeth take on another color different from their natural color. This is known as tooth discoloration. Discolored teeth are not pleasing aesthetically. They stain your smile and can even cause some dental and medical health issues.
Therefore, the teeth have to be restored to their natural color to prevent dental and medical complications. This can be done through a teeth whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening is a procedure through which the teeth are whitened or lightened from their existing color using a bleaching agent. A teeth whitening dentist performs the procedure. The teeth, due to frequent use and some conditions, are likely to lose their natural color, and this can prove to be harmful to dental health. Therefore, tooth whitening serves as a cosmetic dentistry procedure that helps restore the teeth to their natural color or the color they ought to be.
Tooth discoloration can occur in people of all ages and is usually a result of things put in the mouth, existing conditions in the body, and advancement in age.
The leading cause of tooth discoloration are improper oral hygiene habits and the foods and drinks we take in. The teeth, unknown to many, have pores (tiny holes) like the skin. These pores absorb the color of the food and drinks put in the mouth. Proper brushing and flossing of the teeth can help to rid the teeth of these absorbed colors from time to time. However, the absence of these healthy oral hygiene habits leads to a buildup of these colors and causes discoloration. Smoking, chewing, and other forms of ingesting tobacco can also lead to teeth discoloration.
The other causes of tooth discoloration include medications, diseases, trauma, genetics, and environmental factors. Some drugs and medical procedures are known to cause tooth discoloration. In addition, trauma or accident during teeth development can hurt the enamel and cause discoloration. Also, some diseases prevent the normal development of the enamel and dentin, thereby leading to teeth discoloration. Finally, environmental factors like a heavy concentration of fluoride in drinking water lead to fluorosis, which causes white spots to appear on the teeth, causing discoloration.
Professional bleaching is the most common and effective way of whitening teeth. It would help if you got a teeth whitening procedure only from certified dental clinics offering teeth whitening services to prevent complications after the procedure.
After putting safety checks like protecting the gums and tongue, a whitening agent containing 15% to 35% hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth. This process can be repeated multiple times as the dental professional deems fit till the teeth are lightened to the desired shade. This process is painless and might not even need anesthesia.
After whitening, your teeth might feel sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. This is known as tooth sensitivity and should wear off a few days or weeks after the procedure. If it persists, consult your dentist immediately.