Who is a Candidate for Tooth Whitening?
Encinitas, Carlsbad, and San Diego
Whether you have deep, dark stains or your smile is simply not as dazzling as it used to be, tooth whitening may be the solution for you. Advances in tooth whitening mean that even deep staining that has not responded to whitening in the past may now be removed. You do not have to have severe staining to benefit. If you have experienced the normal dulling that comes with age, tooth whitening can restore the youthful brilliance of your smile.
Most types of discoloration will respond to whitening. Extrinsic staining is staining of the outer layers of your teeth, and may be a mild yellowing or dullness, but can be dark and uneven. Nearly everyone experiences some degree of extrinsic staining in their life caused by:
- Beverages including coffee, tea, and red wine
- Staining foods including dark berries
- Smoking or smokeless tobacco
- Excessive plaque
- Topical medications
The idea that people with stained teeth have been negligent in their hygiene practices is a myth. While it is true that failure to care for your teeth will lead to staining, overzealous hygiene can also be the cause. Harsh hygiene practices and abrasive hygiene products can damage your tooth enamel. Many people suffer from this mild to severe erosion of the enamel of their teeth, called tooth erosion. Damage to the outer surface of your teeth makes them less resistant to staining. Tooth erosion is also a common problem among swimmers due to chlorine exposure, and it can be caused by soft drinks and digestive acids.
Staining from the inside
Your teeth can be stained on the inside. This is called intrinsic staining, and it often starts in childhood. Intrinsic staining is some of the worst staining and is typically resistant to whitening, but some of these stains can now be removed with KoR Deep Bleaching. This type of staining can be caused by:
- Medications, including tetracycline
- Excessive fluoride
- An injury or trauma
- Metal restorations
In the past, intrinsic staining could not be resolved with whitening, but today Dr. Walsh-Cole can whiten teeth with some types of intrinsic staining, including dark tetracycline stains.
Alternatives to whitening
Whitening will work for most people, but there are some instances in which whitening is not effective. It will not change the color of your fillings and other restorations; however, you can have your old fillings removed and replaced. If, during your complimentary cosmetic consultation Dr. Walsh-Cole determines that your teeth will not respond to whitening, porcelain veneers may be an option.
Please read our Tooth Whitening and Tooth Whitening Questions pages to learn more. If you think you would like to try our take-home kit you may want to read Home Tooth Whitening Vs. In-Office Tooth Whitening to find out if this is the best option for you. Please contact us today to schedule your complimentary tooth whitening consultation in the Encinitas, San Diego, and Carlsbad area.