I think I may be a bit obsessed with bleaching my teeth. I got some trays from the dentist and I have been bleaching them regularly. In fact, I probably end up doing it a few times a week, sometimes even more. But when I look in the mirror lately, my teeth are looking grayish. I just can’t get them as white as they used to be. Can you give me any tips?
– Marie in New Mexico
Of course, we all want a beautiful, dazzling white smile. And one way to achieve this look is with take home teeth whitening trays from your dentist. You need to be aware that they contain powerful bleaching agents, for instance they have carbamide peroxide in them. If you use this product too often, it can cause damage to your teeth and also irritate your gums. In some cases, it may even cause gum recession. Individuals that bleach their teeth too much have very chalky-looking and brittle teeth. Sometimes the biting edges are so thin that they appear to be gray in color. It is imperative the dentists and hygienists better communicate the harmful side effects of over bleaching. From what you have described about your bleaching habits and how your teeth are looking, it sounds like you may fall into this category. You are not alone. This is happening more frequently and it can actually be addicting. The term that is being used for this behavior is “Bleachorexia”.
The best thing for you to do is to stop bleaching. Give your teeth a break. You may not be able to get your teeth back to the original strength or color. But if you continue bleaching, then you will cause further harm to your dental health. There are re-mineralizing toothpastes that may help you out. Try ProEnamel by Sensodyne. And if your teeth stay discolored or become darker, it is time to get into the dentist. You don’t want them to chip. Then, you will be looking at restorative procedures which are not cheap, like porcelain crowns or dental bonding.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD, General & Cosmetic Dentistry.