Dental bleaching is generally a safe and effective way of whitening the teeth. However, that can only be the case if you address potential complications first. The following are some of the things you should take care of before heading to a cosmetic dentist to bleach your teeth.
Dental bleaching works because the bleach penetrates the tooth enamel and reacts with the discoloring agents. As a side effect, the bleaching process increases the porosity of the enamel. The increased porosity allows certain irritants, such as hot and cold food and drinks, to reach the dentin and cause discomfort. The discomfort could be too much if you had sensitive teeth to begin with. Therefore, if your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold things, take care of the sensitivity before bleaching your teeth.
Exposed Teeth Root
Dental enamel acts as a protective layer of the teeth. It prevents irritants from affecting the sensitive dentin underneath. However, the enamel only covers the crown of the tooth; it extends slightly below the gum line. The part of the tooth under the gums, the root of the tooth, doesn't have this protective layer.
Thus, you shouldn't bleach your teeth if you have gum recession and your teeth's roots are exposed. The bleach will affect the root of your teeth and cause pain and discomfort. You should consult a dentist to help you deal with the gum recession first.
Unrestored Teeth Damage
Dental sensitivity is the main reason you should avoid dental bleaching with damaged teeth. As mentioned above, the enamel is the layer that protects the sensitive parts of the teeth from external substances, such as dental bleach. Damage that has affected the enamel will allow the bleach to affect these inner tissues of the teeth. Therefore, don't bleach your teeth if you have dental caries, if the enamel is eroded, if your tooth is cracked or if you have a broken tooth. Treat such dental issues before bleaching.
Some people are allergic to peroxide, which is the main active ingredient in dental bleaching products. Don't bleach your teeth if you know have such an allergy. Instead, opt for alternative methods of teeth whitening, such as the use of dental veneers.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Strictly speaking, poor oral hygiene doesn't mean that you can't bleach your teeth. However, poor oral hygiene encourages teeth bleaching. Therefore, if you bleach your teeth and continue with your poor oral hygiene routine, the discoloration will come right back. It's best to adopt a good oral hygiene regime before bleaching your teeth if you want the bleaching effect to last a long time.