Tooth discolouration can be a result of either extrinsic (surface stain) or intrinsic (internal stain) factors. Teeth may become discoloured while they are forming (during childhood) as a result of illness or the use of tetracycline antibiotics. Teeth may also become discoloured when the nerve inside the root canal dies or is damaged as a result of tooth decay or trauma. Teeth also darken naturally with age – it is part of the normal ageing process.
Well-known causes of tooth stains are tobacco (tar), strong tea, coffee, red wine and melanoidins (large discolouring molecules from cooked vegetable oils). Medicines containing iron and heavily coloured foodstuffs can also be a contributing influence.
Dentists can bleach teeth externally by applying a bleaching product containing peroxides (usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). It can either be done at the dental surgery or by the patient at home (under the dentist's direction). The peroxides produce an oxidation of the discolouring molecules within the tooth. Tooth whitening is a perfectly safe, successful and simple method of lightening the colour of your teeth.
A course of treatment usually takes two to three weeks. Possible side effects include minor sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold. These symptoms are usually mild and will quickly ease when the treatment ends. If you experience any problems at all you should inform your dentist.
After trying out many tooth whitening products, we have no hesitation in recommending the Enlighten tooth whitening system. It is a combination treatment meaning there is a 2 week home treatment followed by a 1 hour visit at the dentist. Please visit the Enlighten website.
A custom made mouth tray is created. A whitening gel is placed in the tray which you then wear whilst asleep or for short periods during the day. Results are normally seen over 2 weeks.
Have your teeth whitened before your wedding, birthday party, job interview or holiday.