Considering Topical Tooth Whitening? 4 Reasons Why It Might Not Be Your Best Option

If you're tired of having discolored teeth, you're probably considering topical tooth whitening. While topical whitening can be an excellent way to restore your teeth to their natural color, there are some instances in which surface whitening might not be an option. Here are just a few of the reasons why surface whitening may not work for you.

Results Aren't Permanent

Many people think that whitening treatments provide permanent results. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The natural aging process will continue to discolor your teeth, even if you have your teeth professionally whitened. Not only that but if you smoke, take certain medications, or consume certain beverages, such as red wine, coffee or tea, on a regular basis, you may want to consider routine whitening treatments to keep the stains from returning.

Some Stains Can't Be Removed

Most stains can be removed from your teeth with topical whitening treatments. However, discoloration due to antibiotic use or certain dental procedures will need to be whitened internally. During this process, the whitening agent is injected directly into the tooth. Stains caused by antibiotic use will need additional treatment to remove the discoloration.

Not All Discolored Teeth Can Be Whitened.

Dead teeth or tooth-colored fillings cannot be whitened. If your teeth have died due to the aging process or other dental diseases, the discoloration will be permanent. In addition, if you have tooth-colored fillings that have become discolored, topical whitening treatments will not remove the stains. You should talk to your dentist about other whitening options, such as cosmetic overlays or bonding. Those cosmetic treatments will cover the stains so that they're no longer visible.

Some People Shouldn't Whiten Their Teeth

While tooth whitening is a safe treatment option for discolored teeth, it should be avoided by some people. Before you decide to have your teeth whitened, you should discuss the safety precautions that are involved. There are some conditions that will prevent you from having your teeth whitened. If you're planning on whitening your teeth, tell your dentist if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Suffer from gum disease

  • Have sensitive teeth

Discolored teeth can make you feel self-conscious. Unfortunately, treatments that provide only surface-level whitening may not work for everyone.  Before you decide if topical whitening is right for you, be sure to discuss the procedure with your dentist. If surface whitening isn't the best option for you, a dentist like Robert Tartaglione DDS may be able to provide you with additional treatment options.