Teeth whitening is amongst one of the most popular procedures in dentistry. Teeth whitening makes teeth appear whiter, stain-free and makes the smile more aesthetically pleasing. Therefore there is a wide range of home-based teeth whitening products like toothpaste, films, and gels. Teeth whitening performed by dentist consists of bleaching agents. These bleaching agents are high in chemical composition and need to applied carefully by a dentist.
Tooth bleaching of chromogens, which are primarily composed of organic compounds; involves the dissolution of double bonds present in the organic chromogens. It has observed that bleaching chromogens which are metallic in nature are tougher when compared to bleaching the organic chromogens.
Bleach metallic chromogens
Therefore other options that are available to bleach metallic chromogens include tooth veneers or crowns. But there is a wide range of teeth whitening products available to remove the stains. Selection of the whitening product usually depends upon the type of stain requiring the removal.
1. Cleansers like certain toothpaste which are chiefly so composed of detergents and abrasives which help in the removal of chromogens from the tooth surfaces
2.Bleaching agents which undergo a reaction with chromogens and lighten the color of discolored teeth
3.Products which have both cleansing and bleaching reaction.
Home-based whitening kits are primarily suitable to lighten the milder stains; whereas harder stains are usually treating by a dentist. Treatment of end-point for teeth whitening depends on the time; for which the bleaching agent and the extent of its concentration.
The abrasives and detergents
These pastes are primarily of large amounts of abrasives and detergents. So these are primarily low amounts of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that aid in tooth lightening. However, these pastes do not have bleaching agents like sodium hypochlorite for lightening teeth. A recommended usage makes the teeth appear 1-2 shades lighter.
Whitening gels contain peroxide and can apply on the tooth surface with the help of a brush and are usually instructed to self-applied two times a day. But strips and gels also make the teeth appear one to two shades lighter. These oral rinses are composed of oxygen constituents like hydrogen peroxide and eventually react with the chromogens. So rinsing with them is two times a day for about 60 secs. Tooth lightening is usually observed after 3 months of regular usage.
Few adverse effects of teeth whitening products
1. Teeth become sensitive after a prolonged usage
2. Periodontal problems like mild gingival irritation
3. Loss of mineral content of teeth
4. Increased risk for demineralization of teeth
5. Damage to the pulp of the teeth
6. Tooth erosion
Even though, In conclusion, teeth whitening makes teeth appear whiter and stain-free; however, recent research has indicated potential long-term hazards and side effects associated with this procedure like discoloration and damage to dental fillings.