Effective Teeth Whitening by Kevin C. Lucky, DDS PLLC
What Can Cause Teeth Stains to Occur?
There are a number of causes for teeth stains to occur, and these can be unique to each individual. Some common causes for teeth stains include:
FOOD & DRINK
Such as red wine and tea with intense color that attaches to the enamel of teeth
Including stubborn stains due to tar and nicotine
When the outer enamel gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin underneath becomes apparent
TRAUMA DUE TO ACCIDENT OR INJURY
Where a tooth may lay down more dentin under enamel causing discoloration
Certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medications. Young children exposed to tetracycline or doxycycline antibiotics when teeth are forming may have discoloration of adult teeth later. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can also darken teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening Agents For Brighter Teeth
Whitening products contain one of two tooth whitening agents, often called “bleaches”. The most common found in products are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These peroxides come in different professional concentrations and they break stains down into smaller pieces, making the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter. The American Dental Association (ADA) monitors the effectiveness of dental whitening agents and sets standards for whitening practices. Choices at the dentist office can offer greater effectiveness with less time, but will also cost a little more than do-it-yourself versions. If you have tried a number of home whitening products, you may discover a level of tooth sensitivity or even tooth damage due to overuse, which the dentist can evaluate.
Does Whitening Work On All Teeth?
Whitening does not work on all teeth, unfortunately. This is why it is important to talk to your dentist and review your medical history before deciding to whiten your teeth. As you can tell by the causes of stains, whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.