“Nothing improves your appearance more effectively than a whiter, brighter, more
Why do my teeth have stains and discolorations?
Most stains are caused by age, tobacco, coffee, or tea. Other types of stains can
be caused by antibiotics, such as tetracycline or too much fluoride.
What treatments are used for stained teeth?
Ask us about professional tooth-whitening options. They include a number
of over-the-counter whitening systems, whitening toothpastes, dentist supervised
at-home whitening and the latest high-tech option—laser tooth whitening. For maximum
whitening, experts agree that peroxide-based whiteners usually are the way to go.
Supervised bleaching procedures that are done in-office and at-home are the most
popular treatment options. In some cases, the procedure can be performed entirely
in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. In
other cases, our health care professional gets the procedure started during an office
visit and then gives you what you need to complete the process at home.
How effective are bleaching systems?
Bleaching is effective in lightening most stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee,
and tea. Based on clinical studies, 96 percent of patients with these kinds of stains
experience some lightening effect. Other types of stains, such as those produced
by tetracycline or fluorosis respond less reliably. Remember if you have tooth-colored
fillings or crowns, when your teeth are bleached the restoration will stay yellow
or remain darker—dental restorations do not change color when the tooth whitener
Are there any side effects to tooth bleaching?
In some studies, patients have experienced uncomfortable short-term side effects
when having teeth bleached. Hydrogen peroxide exposure can increase temperature
sensitivity in the teeth, particularly at high concentrations, and nightguards often
cause gum irritation. Also, since tooth whitener is not FDA regulated many over-the
counter home bleaching products can wear away tooth enamel and burn gum tissue,
especially solutions that contain acid. Therefore, bleaching is best done under
the care of an oral health care professional.