Central, HK patients have treatment options for teeth whitening
Given a choice, most people would rather have white, clean-looking teeth than dingy ones. Individuals with good oral health have multiple options for brighter smiles at Dr. Titania Tong’s Central HK dental office, including teeth whitening treatment.
Multiple causes of discoloration
Why does anyone need teeth whitening? There is no single answer to that question, but rather, many conditions may contribute to discolored teeth. Thus, there is no “one size fits all” solution.
The general shade of teeth – much like hair, eye, or skin color – can be attributed to genetics. Some people simply have whiter enamel than others. In addition, heredity impacts enamel thickness. This is related to tooth color, since thin enamel allows the yellowish dentin sub-structure to show through. Over time, enamel thins naturally, causing a similar situation.
Here are some other factors that may cause teeth to look dark or dull:
- Medical conditions – Some diseases contracted by a pregnant woman or by a child during dental development affect the color of dentin and enamel.
- Medications and medical treatments – Antihistamines and drugs for high blood pressure and emotional illness can have a detrimental effect on tooth color, as can radiation and chemotherapy. When the antibiotics tetracycline or doxycycline are taken by an expectant mother or a child under the age of eight years old, internal tooth discoloration can occur.
- Excessive fluoride – Fluorosis is characterized by rough or pitted enamel with white blotches or brownish stains. It occurs when too much fluoride is ingested.
- Trauma – Impact from a blow to the face may damage blood supply and nerves at the center of a tooth. The resulting discoloration is something like an internal bruise. It may resolve naturally, or persist, leaving the tooth looking gray or purplish.
- Tobacco – Brown pigments from smokeless tobacco, and harsh chemicals – tar and nicotine – from cigarette smoke become embedded in tooth enamel.
- Insufficient hygiene – Countless microscopic organisms called bacteria live in your mouth. They create a sticky plaque biofilm that coats teeth and traps food debris. Without frequent brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings, plaque hardens into tartar, a yellow or brown deposit at the gum line.
- Diet – Any dark-colored food or beverage contains pigments. These particles settle into tiny pores in tooth enamel, creating stains that cannot be brushed away. Acidic drinks, even if they are pale like white wine, leave enamel more vulnerable to pigments from other foods and beverages.
How teeth whitening treatment gets Central HK smiles brighter
While abrasive toothpaste may be marketed as “whitening,” it only removes surface stains. In the process, it may scratch tooth enamel, leaving grooves that trap pigments and worsen the problem in the long term.
Professional teeth whitening uses a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide solution to remove staining pigments. As the formulation oxidizes, microscopic bubbles penetrate pores in enamel, loosening discoloration and lifting it away. The chemical reaction also bleaches the dentin layer.
Teeth whitening is a good choice when you want to improve the overall shade of your smile, top and bottom arches, front to back. Dr. Tong offers two options. If you prefer to whiten gradually, in the privacy of home, she creates application trays from impressions of your mouth. You receive a supply of prescription-strength whitening gel, and instructions for use. Fill and wear the trays at night until your smile is as bright as you want it. For most patients, this is accomplished in one to two weeks. Then, with periodic re-application, your smile stays brilliant.
If you are in a hurry for a whiter smile, Zoom! in-office treatment makes sense. Relax in the chair while the hygiene team takes care of whitening treatment. In about two hours, your smile is noticeably brighter. Some patients opt for occasional at-home whitening to keep it that way.
Other treatment choices
Maybe your smile is appealingly white, but there is a single tooth that does not match the others. Dr. Tong can mask it with composite bonding or a porcelain crown. Would you like to improve the shape, enamel texture, or visual alignment of “smile teeth,” as well as their color? Dr. Tong may recommend porcelain veneers to bring lovely uniformity to the front teeth that show most readily.
As a holistic dentist, Dr. Tong cares deeply about helping you enjoy the wellness benefits of a healthy mouth, and the self-esteem of a bright, beautiful smile. Find out which tooth whitening treatment is most appropriate for your needs. Call 852 2810 1801 to schedule an appointment in Central, HK.