Does Your Enamel Breakdown When You Whiten Your Teeth?

Before and after of discolored teeth that have been whitened.This is a great question and one you should know the answer to before you embark on a teeth-whitening path. The quick answer is no, teeth whitening does not damage the enamel of your teeth. Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body. If you think about it, look at the abuse your teeth take.

You use them to crack nuts, chew ice, rip open packaging, maybe even carry things. This is not what your teeth were designed to do and every time you engage in these practices you run the risk of cracking or chipping your teeth. Teeth whitening also does not introduce acid or carbohydrates into your system.

What Are the Side Effects of Tooth Whitening?

So, what can happen if you whiten your teeth? Are there any side effects I should know about? Sure, nearly everything has some side effect or another, but the side effects of tooth whitening are minor.

The most common side effect is tooth sensitivity. Here is why. The outside of your tooth, the enamel, isn’t what discolors and makes you want to whiten your teeth. The next layer, the dentin, is what gets stained. The outside of your teeth has little tubules which are the pathway to the dentin. When you apply the tooth whitening gel, you leave it on for a prescribed amount of time. This gives the tubules the time needed to transport it to the dentin so it can do its job.

During this process, you may experience some sensitivity because the tubules are left open and dehydrated while the gel turns from active to inactive. This process can take some time, so you should stay away from sweet and salty foods and drinks and also extreme hot and cold. This can irritate the nerve tissue. If you drink or eat something that causes tooth discoloration like coffee, tea, or tobacco it will more easily absorb the color and you will have to start over. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please contact us today.

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