Is Tooth Whitening Bad For Your Teeth?

Is Tooth Whitening Bad For Your Teeth?

Aug 04, 2021

The permanent set of teeth is the set of teeth that grows after you lose your milk teeth. The permanent set of teeth are meant to serve you for the rest of your life. Therefore, they are subject to wear and tear and deterioration due to age and time. A major sign of deterioration in the teeth is tooth discoloration. This occurs when the teeth lose their original color. Discolored teeth do not only alter your smile and dental aesthetics, they can cause or contribute to health-related problems. A lot of things ranging from lifestyle to dental habits can make your teeth lose their original color. However, there is a solution to tooth discoloration. The solution to teeth discoloration is teeth whitening. But, is tooth whitening good for your teeth?

Tooth whitening is a dental procedure through which the existing color of the teeth is lightened without removing any of the tooth surfaces. Tooth whitening is done to fix discolored teeth for cosmetic reasons and possible health problems attached to them. Clean white teeth are mostly indications of a healthy dental lifestyle. The teeth also perform a lot of activities in our day-to-day lives and should be well taken care of.

Reasons For Teeth Whitening

Teeth can be whitened for a variety of reasons. It could be for cosmetic purposes and the prevention of diseases that are attached to discolored teeth. Teeth can also be discolored for various reasons. Agents of teeth discoloration include:

  • Food/drinks and Tobacco: The teeth, like the skin, have pores. These pores absorb the color of things put in the mouth and the buildup of these colors stain the teeth over time.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Improper teeth care (brushing and flossing) can cause a buildup of plaques and food stains. Plaques form when there is a mixture of bacteria in the mouth, saliva, and a remnant of sugary or starchy food in the mouth. It sticks to the teeth, hardens and becomes tartar, and stains the teeth.
  • Medications: Some drugs are known to discolor the teeth.
  • Diseases: Some diseases prevent the normal development of the enamel and dentin. This can lead to teeth discoloration.
  • Genetics: Some families are known to have different shades of teeth color different from the universal one.
  • Aging: Deterioration of the teeth due to length of use and age leads to discoloration.
  • Environmental factor: Fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) is a form of tooth discoloration. This occurs when there is a high concentration of fluoride in drinking water or toothpaste.
  • Trauma: A direct blow or injury to the teeth at a young age can disturb or damage the formation of the enamel and lead to discoloration

Diseases that can occur as a result of tooth discoloration include:

  • Tooth decay.
  • Halitosis (Bad breath)
  • Gingivitis (Gum disease)
  • Periodontitis.
  • Abscessed tooth.

Furthermore, the bacteria involved can lead to other health problems like sinus infections, liver or kidney issues, bronchitis, acid reflux, etc.

Is Tooth Whitening Bad For My Teeth?

The tooth whitening procedure has proven to be a safe method of treating tooth discoloration. However, this is only applicable when you get a professional teeth whitening procedure from a certified dental clinic. There are beauty salons that offer teeth whitening tips and procedures and home whitening kits. Teeth whitening in a beauty salon is illegal and is coupled with numerous risks. DIY home whitening kits can also burn your gums and harm your tooth enamel.

Even when getting a professional tooth whitening procedure from a dental clinic, there are side effects that may crop up after the whitening procedure. These side effects include:

  • Teeth sensitivity: Your teeth might become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for a while after whitening. This may cause discomfort to you.
  • Gum irritation: Your gum might be irritated if some of the whitening product comes in contact with it. However, this should clear off a while after whitening.
  • Sore throat.
  • White patches on the gum line.

However, these side effects are usually only temporary and should disappear within a few days after whitening.