Tooth bleaching, commonly known as tooth whitening, has become very popular dental procedure especially in cosmetic dentistry. Every person wishes to have whiter teeth so that therir smile becomes more attractive. Milk teeth in the childhood are white but as one grows older his teeth are yellowish or brownish because of stains aquired from the food or beverages or chewing or smoking habbits
The teeth are bleeched with the help of oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to lighten the shade of the tooth.
There are two main methods of bleaching In Office Bleach-one performed by a dentist and Home Bleach- one self-performed. A dentist applies a high concentration of oxidizing agent for a short period of time, which produces quick results. In order to reduce the risk of chemical burns to the soft tissues, the gums and other soft tissues are protected with ;a light-cured protective layer that is carefully painted on the gums and papilla. The bleaching agent is either carbamide peroxide, which breaks down in the mouth to form hydrogen peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide itself. The bleaching gel typically contains up to 35% carbamide peroxide which is roughly equivalent to a 12% >hydrogen peroxide concentration
|Bleeching being performed in our office with B.T. cool|
At-home whitening involves purchasing a thin mouthguard or strip that holds a relatively low concentration of oxidizing agent next to the teeth for as long as several hours a day for a period of 5 to 14 days. Tooth whitening should always be undertaken under the supervision of the dentist.
A typical course of bleaching can produce dramatic improvements in the cosmetic appearance of most stained teeth; however, some stains do not respond to bleaching. Tetracycline staining may require prolonged bleaching, as it takes longer for the bleach to reach the dentine layer. White-spot decalcifications may also be highlighted and become more noticeable. Bleaching is least effective if teeth have white spots, decay or infected gums. It is also least effective when the original tooth color is grayish. Bleaching is most effective with yellow discolored teeth.
Recently, efforts have been made to accelerate the bleaching process by the use of light. Studies have shown varying results as to the efficacy of light-activated bleaching.
Side effects of tooth bleaching include: chemical burns (if a high-concentration oxidizing agent contacts unprotected tissues, which may bleach or discolor mucous membranes), sensitive teeth, and overbleaching (known in the profession as “over white teeth”). Rebound, or teeth losing the bleached effect and darkening, is also an issue, with some studies showing the rebound effect over 30 days.
The two side effects that occur most often are a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth, particularly the gums.Tooth sensitivity often occurs during early stages of the bleaching treatment. Tissue irritation most commonly results from an ill-fitting mouthpiece tray rather than the tooth-bleaching agent. Both of these conditions usually are temporary and disappear within 1 to 3 days of stopping or completing treatment.
Individuals with sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums and/or defective restorations should consult with their dentist prior to using a tooth whitening system. Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product. Also, prolonged exposure to bleaching agents may damage tooth enamel. This is especially the case with home remedy whitening products that contain fruit acids. Bleaching is not recommended in children under the age of 16. This is because the pulp chamber, or nerve of the tooth, is enlarged until this age. Tooth whitening under this condition could irritate the pulp or cause it to become sensitive. Tooth whitening is also not recommended in pregnant or lactating women.