Laser teeth whitening can improve the appearance of teeth with stubborn stains and discoloration. However, a healthy mouth is a prerequisite for this popular cosmetic treatment.
Reasons why teeth have stains
The most rigorous oral healthcare routine cannot prevent tooth stains entirely, but it can help to minimize them. Laser whitening further addresses the effects of most common stain-producing activities, including:
- Drinking coffee and tea, wines, and sodas
- Eating berries, tomatoes, and beets
- Eating balsamic vinegar and curry
- Smoking tobacco
Stains may also be a consequence of bacterial infections that compromise the structural integrity of the teeth.
Important gum and decay problems to resolve before laser teeth whitening
Before undergoing laser whitening, it is essential to treat gum and decay issues to avoid exacerbating these conditions and ensure desirable results. These are among the common problems that dentists must address before qualifying patients for this whitening procedure.
Early-stage gum disease or gingivitis is minor and highly treatable with routine dental cleanings. Patients should take measures to reverse gingivitis before scheduling teeth whitening because the whitening agent used during the procedure can severely irritate already sensitive, swollen, or bleeding gums.
Bacterial infections can cause receding gums and expose teeth roots. Scaling and root planing can remove stubborn plaque or calculus, along with any portion of the root's protective layer containing bacteria. Bacteria that progress deeper into the jawbone can have more severe consequences, including tooth loss, and may require surgical intervention to reverse the infection. It is crucial to treat gum disease before laser whitening sessions begin to avoid worsening the symptoms and discomfort the condition causes.
Although gum disease is a primary cause of receding gums, other factors can also lead to this condition and require attention before laser teeth whitening can occur. Gum recession may result from incorrect and aggressive brushing with overly stiff bristles, unconscious teeth grinding, or hormonal changes. Although it is impossible to reverse gum recession, a dentist may recommend certain therapies to prevent it from causing infections and help patients qualify for whitening. These include grafting gum tissue from another part of the mouth or permanently fitting gum-colored resin material over receding areas to protect overly sensitive teeth roots during whitening.
Cavities are a common form of decay that most patients deal with at some point, and dentists advise sealing them before starting whitening treatments. Cavities can cause the painful exposure of the sensitive teeth nerve endings and other delicate tissue to the whitening agent as it penetrates through the enamel and dentin layers. Sealing cavities and removing decay also leads to more effective whitening because the whitening agent cannot influence stains resulting from bacteria.
Dental patients who undergo laser teeth whitening can expect to see noticeably whiter teeth after one session. Before dentists schedule this procedure, patients typically must arrange routine dental cleanings and oral examinations to ensure healthy gums and teeth free from decay. It is essential to identify, treat, or reverse any conditions that could affect how well patients tolerate the procedure and prevent the most comfortable and visually satisfying results.
Request an appointment or call Encino Cosmetic & Dental Implants at 818-578-2333 for an appointment in our Encino office.
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