Teeth bleaching, or whitening, is a dental cosmetic treatment which consists in whitening teeth with the use of bleaching substances, that are differents kind of peroxide compounds like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide; these bleaching peroxides work as they break stains on teeth in smaller pieces and make enamel brighter. As ADA (American Dental Association) states, this treatment was born in 1800 as a technique to restablish the natural colour “of non-vital teeth that had discolored as a result of trauma to the tooth or from endodontic treatment”, but now, in recent years, esteems say that in the United States almost 90% of patient ask for teeth bleaching.
Reasons could be found in the influence that celebrities have on people or in the idea that, as many patients say, white teeth are one of the most clear signal of a healthy and beautiful smile.
Professional teeth whitening.
While tooth scaling or polishing are two methods to restore the natural colour of the teeth, that are continuously darkened by some kind of foods as wine, tea or coffee, by smoke or medicines or for aging factors, bleaching is a treatment that change the original and inherent colour of enamel and whiten it.
There are a several types of teeth bleaching techniques, from milder ones to more effective one: treatments applied in the dentist office are the most effective and safer, since the dentist can choose the most suitable treatment and can control the side effects. Usually in-office methods consist in application of bleaching agents, which action may be increased by a heat or light source (sometimes a laser), and a dentist-dispensed treatment to apply at home to maintain whitening results.
Home-made products, not prescribed by dentist, include gels, rinses, chewing gums, toothpastes, paint-on films and strips.
Teeth bleaching is considered a safe procedure, but there are some side effects or risks that can be produced: some teeth might be not whitened, like non-vital teeth; some people can experience tooth sensitivity, or it may happen that nerves or gums could be irritated. Whitening procedures are not suggested for pregnant women or nursing, and safety concerns have been raised regarding effects of a repeated ingestion of bleaching agents or as regards the possibility of allergic reactions.