So, what exactly is the purpose of teeth whitening? The following paper has some intriguing facts on teeth whitening–knowledge that you can utilise, not simply what your parents told you.
Tooth bleaching commonly referred to as tooth whitening, is a frequent operation in general dentistry, but particularly in aesthetic dentistry. White teeth are seen to be an appealing quality of a smile by many individuals. The deciduous teeth of a kid are usually lighter in colour than the adult teeth that follow. Adult teeth frequently grow in value–that is, they get darker–as a person gets older. As the enamel becomes less porous, it darkens owing to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth. Bacterial pigments, meals, and cigarettes may also discolour teeth.
White teeth have become desired because they are unconsciously connected with youth. This has become increasingly noticeable with the globalisation of American society, where a particularly white grin is dubbed the “Hollywood smile.” Bleaching teeth involves the use of oxidising chemicals like hydrogen peroxide to lighten the tint of the teeth. The oxidising chemical penetrates the porosities in the enamel’s rod-like crystal structure and oxidises interprismatic stain deposits; the dentine layer underneath the enamel is also bleached over time.
Bleaching may be accomplished in two ways. The first method, known as office bleach, involves applying a high concentration of oxidising chemicals for a short period of time. This offers speedy effects, but it puts the sensitive tissues in danger of chemical burns. As a result, most in-office bleaching treatments include the application of a light-cured protective coating to the gums and papilla (the tips of the gums between the teeth). Either carbamide peroxide, which breaks down in the mouth to generate hydrogen peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide itself is used as a bleaching agent. The bleaching gel usually has a hydrogen peroxide equivalent of up to 35%.
The alternate procedure includes wearing a thin mouthguard or strip that holds a low concentration of oxidising chemical on the teeth for up to 14 days, for as long as several hours every day. Take-home or over-the-counter bleaching is what it’s called. This is a more time-consuming procedure, but it poses fewer hazards to the delicate tissues. Typically, the bleaching agent is less than 10% hydrogen peroxide equivalent.
Most discoloured teeth may benefit from a standard whitening treatment; however, certain stains do not react to bleaching. Because the bleach takes longer to reach the dentine layer, tetracycline stains may need extended bleaching. Decalcifications in white spots may also be accentuated and become more visible.
Recent attempts have been made to utilise light to speed up the bleaching process. The efficiency of light-activated bleaching has been studied in several ways.
Chemical burns (if a high-concentration oxidising agent meets exposed tissues, bleaching or discolouring mucous membranes), sensitive teeth, and overbleaching (called in the industry “fridge-door teeth”) are also side effects of tooth whitening. Rebound, or teeth losing their bleached appearance and darkening, is also a problem, with some studies demonstrating a 30-day rebound impact. According to recent research by Kugel et al, light-activated/office bleaching may lose up to 4 shades of brightness in 30 days.