According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the most popular cosmetic service today is teeth whitening. With the trend of blinding white smiles growing, Americans are in pursuit of professional and over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments. Studies show that Americans spent over $1.4 billion in total on over-the-counter bleaching in 2006. This growing trend has lead to the development of a new dental disorder known as bleachorexia. Excessive whitening of the teeth may get bleachorexics one-step closer to that pearly white Hollywood smile, but eventually it can lead to serious discomfort and irreversible damage.
The American Dental Association has found that about 50% of people who bleach their teeth, occasionally to excessively, experience oral discomfort. This can be temporary sensitivity or prolonged burning in the gums. The cause of this pain is the primary ingredient in most at-home whitening kits, carbamide peroxide. This chemical has been proven to strip teeth of natural enamel. Once this enamel is lost, it is almost impossible to recover a comparable amount. Without high levels of enamel, teeth can become brittle or even mushy to the touch. This increases your overall dental sensitivity, which can make something as mild as sound or air movement an extremely painful experience.
Not only can excessive teeth whitening make your teeth more sensitive, it can also do irreversible damage to the health of your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissue. Most whitening treatments contain substances that can be very abrasive, not only to the surfaces of your teeth, but also to your gums. This may cause a burning sensation, or even bleeding, in your gums. By whitening excessively, you can damage and even burn away soft oral tissue.
For those suffering from bleachorexia, a bright white smile may never be possible, no matter how excessively they whiten. Once excessive dental bleaching has worn away teeth’s natural enamel, they can become translucent. They will appear thin and blotchy and can take on a bluish-translucent hue that will be impossible to correct. Instead of giving you a bright white smile, when taken too far, teeth whitening can do permanent health and cosmetic damage.
The safest way to achieve the pearly white smile of your dreams is to contact a licensed dentist. Typically, the teeth whitening treatments delivered by a professional in office use alternatives to the ingredients that would normally put tooth enamel at risk. A dentist will achieve the level of whiteness that is safe to strive for and give you the safest treatment options. If the whitening options given to you by your dentist do not give you the level of whiteness you desire, they can offer you alternative treatments.
At Lynn Dental Care, we understand how important a bright white smile is in giving you the confidence you deserve. This is why we offer the safe whitening treatments and alternatives, such as porcelain veneers, to give you a smile that is both beautiful and healthy. Contact Lynn Dental Care today and let us give you the safest and most effective cosmetic dentistry for your smile.