Considering teeth whitening from a dentist? This popular treatment is undergone when there are extreme stains on the surface of the teeth. Oftentimes, stained teeth will not respond to toothpaste, which is why it is worth visiting a dentist for an in-office treatment. While most people are familiar with why to get teeth whitening, there are…
Can I Have Teeth Whitening With Gum Disease?
The very first step in teeth whitening treatment is the dental exam. A cosmetic dentist will use the exam to check that their patient is in good oral health. They will check for cavities, mouth sores, injury and gum disease.
Best practice dictates that the cosmetic dentist treats all underlying oral health issues before they clear their patient for teeth whitening. This is easy enough for problems like tooth decay, where the dentist will place dental restorations to reverse the damage. Gum disease is a different animal altogether.
Gum disease takes time to resolve, even with aggressive treatment. Does that mean that a patient who suffers from gum disease and stained teeth will have to wait for months before they get to enjoy a nice smile? To answer this question, you need to dive into the nature of dental bleach and its effects on infected gum tissue.
How the active agent in teeth whitening gels works
Dentists use a type of bleach to remove stains from teeth. Whitening agents work their magic by adding or absorbing oxygen molecules from dyes, or in the case of teeth, stains. Substances that are quick to shed or absorb oxygen molecules are usually reactive. To put it another way, bleaching agents are mildly or moderately corrosive. Teeth whitening agents share this property.
It is for this reason that dentists use dental dams to shield the soft tissues of the mouth when they perform in-office teeth whitening treatments. If the dentist notices broken skin or sores in the patient’s mouth, they will ask the patient to wait until the broken skin heals.
What gum disease and other dental problems looks like
Gum disease is an infection that affects gum tissue, causing inflammation, soreness and bleeding. As a result, the surface of infected gum tissue becomes vulnerable to sores and broken skin. Also, advanced gum disease exposes the tooth roots, which are pretty much soft tissue with no enamel coating.
The same logic holds for cavities, fractures, cuts, sores and chipped teeth. All these conditions expose vulnerable tissue that should be sealed behind enamel or skin.
How teeth whitening gel affects exposed tissue in the teeth and mouth
If teeth whitening gel comes into contact with tooth roots and other soft tissue, a patient would experience a significant level of discomfort or pain. The patient would have the same experience if they were to buy store-bought teeth whitening solutions.
This is the reason why it is always a good idea to see a dentist for teeth whitening. The dentist will insist that their patient undergo treatment for all outstanding oral health issues before they address cosmetic problems.
An individual who decides to chart their own course despite suffering from gum disease would learn a hard and potentially painful lesson.
The journey to a great smile starts with a chat
You need to talk to a dentist before you start the process of improving your smile. Call our practice to set up an appointment.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Baltimore, MD.
Teeth whitening is used because nearly everyone will experience staining or tooth discoloration at some point. For example, if you drink coffee, red wine or tea, you may develop stains over time. Using tobacco products or smoking, taking some types of medications and dental injuries can cause discoloration. The good news is that teeth whitening…
Regardless of the type of teeth whitening procedure you choose, you may experience a bit of sensitivity after the procedure, even if you have a healthy oral routine and strong enamel. When dealing with sensitivity, it is good to be proactive, especially if you have a history of teeth sensitivity. The best way to guard…
Statistics show that almost all Americans desire to have whiter teeth, and spending an estimate of $1.4 billion on over-the-counter teeth whitening products per year just goes to prove that point. When we first encounter someone, one of the quickest things we notice is their smile. We also live in a picture-centric time where the…