Whitening Discolored Teeth

September 1, 2023

By Dr. Nicole Shen

There are various methods of whitening discolored teeth all aimed to remove stains and discoloration from the surface of teeth or within the tooth structure itself. Teeth whitening treatments include in-office bleaching procedures, dentist-supplied products for use at home, and over the counter whiteners. Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are commonly used in whitening products and can readily permeate dental hard tissues. Reactive oxygen molecules generated from the peroxide interact with chromophores, a colored compound within enamel and dentin, through a chemical oxidation process.

It’s important to note that teeth whitening treatments may not be effective for all types of discoloration. For example, teeth that are discolored due to certain medications, dental trauma, or developmental conditions may not respond well to traditional whitening methods. Also notable is that only natural teeth can be whitened, not tooth-colored restorations. In such cases, alternative cosmetic procedures like dental veneers or bonding might be recommended by a dentist.

It’s essential to consult with a dentist before pursuing any whitening treatment of discolored teeth to determine the most suitable approach based on your dental health and individual needs. Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding stain-causing habits can help prolong the results of these treatments.

This article was published on 09-01-2023 in The Altamont Enterprise.