Is it Dangerous to Whiten Your Teeth at Home?
Popular over-the-counter dental whitening kits may be inexpensive, but they can cost you in the long run because they can cause irreparable damage to the enamel and roots of your teeth. One of the most common side effects of at home dental whitening is that of tooth sensitivity, which can be severe.
It is understandable that many people want whiter teeth and a brighter smile. Most simply do not know that home-whitening systems sold all over the counter may not be a wise choice for them. A dentist has the expertise and training required to spot potential problems before they start. Your dentist can also suggest certain procedures that may minimize tooth sensitivity, or even correct root damage before it becomes a bigger issue that leads to tooth loss. That is not something you can get from a pre-packaged, one-size-fits-all dental whitener off of a store shelf.
Why Teeth Get Darker
As we age, stains tend to build up on our teeth. Teeth can appear more yellow, dingy and darker, making you look older and less vibrant. One of the main causes is that pigmentation inside the teeth themselves become more obvious as the dentin (one of the main components of teeth) grows under the enamel, causing teeth to appear darker.
Other causes include the buildup of plaque and tartar, as well as certain foods such as wine and coffee. Smoking and/or chewing tobacco will also discolor and stain teeth, making them more yellow. Certain medications such as tetracycline (an antibiotic), or even too much fluoride at a young age can also darken teeth from the inside. An accident that damaged a tooth may also cause tooth discoloration later. There are also people who are born with a condition called dentinogenesis imperfect. While extremely rare, it does cause the teeth to appear almost purple or gray.
No matter what the underlying reason, be it age related, external stains or internal changes to the teeth, a professional dental whitening performed or directed by a dentist is a safer way to lighten and brighten your smile. Your dentist can perform a comprehensive exam and advise you about what dental whitening procedure is right for you.
To find out more about teeth whitening or any other cosmetic or dental health topic, please call (724) 452-4300 or schedule an appointment online today. Dr. Mark A. Marion has been selected as one of America’s Best Dentist by the International Association of Dentists and been awarded numerous accolades by his patients and peers. Come see what sets us apart from the rest.