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When Does Teeth Whitening Not Work?

Ad Min - Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Teeth whitening is a process by which the stained or yellowed teeth are bleached and made whiter. Teeth whitening process can be done professionally in the dentist’s office or it can be carried out by individuals at home. The products that can be used for teeth whitening are available over the counter and can be obtained from your dentist. You can carry out teeth whitening at home under the supervision of your dentist or according to instructions given along with the product.

How does teeth-whitening work?

Teeth whitening products either available at the dentist’s office or over the counter, use two common combinations of chemicals namely, carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. They are available in the form of pastes or powders which must be mixed with water. These products, when applied to the teeth sets off a chain of reactions, which is responsible for removing stains from the teeth. These chemical reactions are oxygenation and diffusion. Oxygenation breaks down the molecules of the stain and diffusion is for diffusing the debris away created by breaking of molecules. This is a cyclical process which starts at the surface of the tooth, the enamel and proceeds further down. This is how stain removing action gets completed.

Reasons why teeth whitening does not work

There are many reasons for teeth whitening procedure to go wrong.

Doing it on your own
The best thing to do about teeth whitening is, get it done by your dentist in his office. There are very few chances of it being going wrong. Dentists are experts. They know what they are doing. They use the best products they know should work and moreover they know your requirement, your medical history and your teeth. When dentists do the teeth whitening in the office, they already have asked you about what medicine you are on. How bad the stains on your teeth are, and how much chemical will be needed, and for how long, for it to take effect.  So, if you have a choice and budget for this, you must opt for the teeth whitening done by the professional at the clinic.

Lack of preparation
One of the main reasons for failure in teeth whitening is the preparation or rather lack of it. The teeth will receive the chemicals well if they have been prepared to receive it. It means that when teeth whitening is done in the clinic, the dentist prepares the teeth by removing tartar, and cleaning them of any plaque. So when you apply the product, it will have to deal with the stains on the teeth only, nothing else.

Products bought over the counter
Another reason for failure to whiten the teeth can be the material itself. Many products contain abrasive material and do not contain the bleach at all, which clears the stains by polishing away at them rather than whitening the enamel. When the product you are using for bleaching the teeth is not strong enough, then the desired effect is not seen. Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient in most teeth whitening products. In some countries, hydrogen peroxide has to be less than 0.1% in the product sold over the counter, which is not enough to work on stains. This is why the home-kit used by individuals at home is not very effective at teeth whitening.

Strong chemicals in the product
Teeth whitening agents which are bought over the counter may also be more concentrated than you need. When you apply this paste, it may corrode the enamel on your teeth make them sensitive.

Not following instructions
Sometimes, the user does not follow the instructions fully. Like, you are asked to pour the content of the product into the mouth guard like tray and hold it for some time. If the tray is removed before suggested time, the chemical reaction doesn’t get completed. In this case, the stains do not get removed at all, or are removed in part.

Misinterpreting the stains on your teeth
Then there is misinterpreting the stains on your teeth. In some cases, the enamel on the teeth wears away and becomes thin, which allows the colour of dentin to show on the teeth. This colour is not a stain, but the natural colour of the teeth which cannot be whitened.

Skipping steps in the treatment
Some of the times the user does not read and follow the instructions fully and skips some of the steps. For example, when the treatment needs to be repeated every week for a few weeks and you forget to repeat it at the stipulated time, then the result may not be what you had expected.

Very high expectations from teeth whitening procedure
There are some people who expect too much from the teeth whitening procedure. It cannot totally whiten your teeth. The usual result you get is a shade or two lighters than your original shade. Do not expect to change your shade which is genetic.

Decay in the tooth
The less common reason could be a decay in the teeth which appears as a stain. This decay cannot be whitened with any product. It has to be treated by the dentist.

Rehydration
You must allow the tooth to rehydrate before reapplying the teeth whitening product.

Inhibited by previous dental work
When there is previous dental work done on the teeth, they prevent the chemicals in the product to work effectively.

Replaced teeth and crowns
You can whiten your original teeth only. Replaced teeth or crowns cannot be whitened.

Intensity of the stain
We must also remember that the darker the stain, the more intense treatment it will require. And even after repeated treatments, we cannot get rid of some stains at home.

Medicines taken for other diseases
Other reasons for teeth whitening not working includes medicines taken for any other ailment or diseases like cancer.

What we should remember is that we can whiten our teeth only to our original colour with which we are born, not whiter than that.

When should Wisdom teeth be removed?

Ad Min - Thursday, March 11, 2021

Teeth that appear after all the permanent teeth have erupted and appear right at the back of the mouth. They get their name as they erupt when a person is older and mature. A total of four wisdom teeth appear, two on the top jaw and two on the bottom jaw. But not every adult has wisdom teeth, it is not seen in many. They are the widest of the molar teeth, they aid in grinding food.

Many think that wisdom teeth bring immense pain and hence it is important or safer to remove them. Not everyone has problems with wisdom teeth, only some have associated issues. It is important to check with the dentist if there are symptoms that affect oral health. During daily brushing and cleaning, for maintaining good dental health any unusual symptoms or signs noticed should be checked with the dentist.

Signs that show the need for wisdom tooth removal

  1. Pain

This is one of the first signs noticed if there is some issue with wisdom teeth. But this should not be confused with the normal pain that comes with each tooth eruption. The pain felt with impacted wisdom teeth is severe and increases with time. Impacted wisdom tooth results when the teeth do not have space to erupt or develop normally. They will get caught in the jaw bone itself being embedded in it or stay just below the jaw line.

  1. Infection

When you see infection inside the mouth, especially in the last tooth it is an indication that further checking needs to be done. Inflammation is seen in the area where the wisdom tooth will emerge. Tissues get swollen, tenderness and redness are seen – these are signs of infection. When the wisdom tooth is partially impacted, infection chances are high. This condition though is seen mostly in the lower molars and not in the upper jaw areas.

  1. Cysts

Cysts developing in the teeth, particularly wisdom teeth, is also a sign that points to its extraction. Teeth will develop in a sac in the jaw bone. These sacs form over the partially erupted or impacted teeth. These sacs will attract bacterial infection, which can also spread to other neighbouring teeth and damage them. Along with the teeth decay, damage to the jaw bone is also noticed. Besides cysts, tumours also can develop when the wisdom teeth are impacted.

  1. Affecting neighbouring teeth

Sometimes, wisdom teeth may affect and damage the dental health of the neighbouring teeth. Wisdom teeth sometimes do not get enough space to erupt. They will then push against the adjacent teeth. The molars then will be pressured and overcrowding of teeth will be seen. This situation can also lead to increased chances of infection as food debris becomes lodged between crowded teeth. If the situation is severe it will also need orthodontic treatment.

  1. Gum disease

Another concern that crops up due to wisdom teeth is gum disease. An impacted wisdom tooth is stuck in the gums. This will cause the gum tissue to be swollen and tender. Bleeding from the gums can also be seen in some cases. Pain is felt severely as the gum tissues are also infected. The health of the gum tissues gets eroded and they are unable to provide support to the teeth.

  1. Widespread tooth decay

Decay is seen in the case of partially impacted wisdom teeth. It is very difficult to clean this type of teeth. Brushing and flossing will not be able to clean the wisdom tooth. This will attract plaque and tartar formation and attract more bacterial action. The decay will then spread to neighbouring teeth also and the dental health gets affected. If the wisdom tooth is crooked, then the root of the tooth can also affect the root of adjacent molars.

The procedure of wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth removal is done when the tooth is impacted and will bring in decay to adjacent teeth and affected oral health. Impacted teeth – partial or full will need dental surgery to remove. This is because the wisdom tooth is stuck in the jaw bone and will need to be extracted by cutting the jaw bone. If there is an infection, then the procedure will be done after the infection is cleared. Dentists will prescribe antibiotics and pain killers to help with the infection cleaning.

The dental surgery is conducted under anaesthesia. After the area is numb, the dentists will begin the procedure. If there is any gum tissue over the tooth, then it is removed first. Then the anchoring of the tooth is removed. The root that connects the tooth to the bone is removed to ease the process. Then the impacted tooth is removed. Sometimes the dentist will remove the tooth in pieces and not as a whole tooth. After the surgery is done, stitches will be placed, they will dissolve in a few days’ time.

As surgery has been performed, the pain will be felt for a few days but it will soon diminish. Dentists will be prescribing pain killers to tide over this pain and to cut off any infection. Care should be taken after the surgery as this will aid in the easy recovery. Numbness in the area will be felt for some time after the surgery so one should be careful not to bite in the area where the surgery has been done. The swelling will be seen in the cheeks, placing a cold compress will help to bring down the swelling.

Consuming food and drinks should also be taken care of. Drinking from straw should be avoided for the first few days. This is because a blood clot will be formed while healing, using a straw will dislodge it and bring in more bleeding. Soft food can be taken as this will help to reduce the strain and pressure on the teeth in general. If the bleeding or the pain is severe and unbearable then check with the dentist, they will be able to guide you on what needs to be done.


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