Is Gum Lightening The Answer To Your Discolored Smile?

Gum lightening can seem like the perfect solution to fix your discolored smile — or at least, that’s what we thought until we did some research and learned the dark truth about this seemingly harmless procedure.

The Science Behind Bleaching:

Gum bleaching is a procedure that uses light energy with the help of a laser, which removes gum pigmentation and stains for more youthful-looking teeth. The process can be fairly uncomfortable but does offer positive results when done correctly.
The first step in bleaching your gums is booking an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will assess your teeth and give you recommendations on how best to proceed with gum lightening. They may also prescribe an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory medication in order to reduce any risk of infection caused by the procedure.

Preventive Measures:

If gum lightening is something you’re considering, you might want to consider in-office bleaching. This is a procedure that your dentist can perform in the office. Unlike other methods of gum lightening, this one is usually painless because it uses lasers to target melanocytes and destroy them. In a matter of minutes, your mouth will be nice and white again!

In-Office Bleaching:

One common treatment is in-office bleaching, which is a quick and easy procedure. The dentist will apply a gel bleach on your teeth, then use a special light to activate the gel and make it work faster. It usually takes about 20 minutes for this procedure.
Afterward, you’ll be given some instructions on how to maintain your teeth’s whiteness at home with prescribed toothpaste and mouthwash. For this treatment, you’ll need a follow-up appointment after two weeks to assess if there are any residual stains that need additional attention.

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At-Home Kits:

While it may sound great that you can get laser treatments at home, there are some risks involved. For example, do you know what kind of material your toothbrush bristles are made out of? If they’re nylon or any other synthetic material, those bristles will melt and dissolve if they come in contact with a light-emitting diode (LED). And we all know how important it is to brush your teeth twice a day. So if you’re serious about lightening your teeth, find out what kind of materials your toothbrush uses and make sure there’s no way for them to come into contact with an LED.

Bleached Teeth vs Natural Teeth:

The process of bleaching is an expensive one and it will cost you a lot more than just your time. Bleaching your teeth can be done in one sitting, but over time, the dark pigment will start returning and your teeth will need to be re-bleached. And that’s where it gets really pricey: after two or three rounds of bleaching, patients may spend up to $4,000 for their dentists’ services.
Bleached teeth are also not as healthy as natural ones. The laser treatments weaken tooth enamel and make it more prone to decay from sugary drinks or snacks that would normally have no effect on a healthy tooth. This leads to not only a discolored smile but also one with weakened enamel and tooth decay.

Do At-Home Kit Work?

It’s easy to see why so many people are attracted to at-home kits like the one from Opalescence. The all-natural ingredients in their formulas, for example, are designed specifically for sensitive teeth and gums. Furthermore, these products contain advanced whiteners and polishers that can remove surface stains and remove yellowing caused by aging or smoking. But is this all worth it when there are natural treatments that require no more than a toothbrush and some patience?

The Side Effects Of Bleaching:

Bleaching teeth can be a very painful and expensive process. Dentists will have to use a laser to remove the top layers of your gums in order to expose the pigmented cells. This is typically done with a large syringe-like device, but it can also be accomplished with an electric drill. If you’ve ever been told you have gum disease, this is probably why — as it sometimes takes months or years for problems like these to manifest themselves. And once they do, they often need more than bleaching for treatment.

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