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The Risks of Teeth Whitening with Cavities: What You Need to Know

December 7, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — clearcoastdental @ 7:58 am
Someone getting teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a highly sought-after cosmetic dental procedure, known for its ability to dramatically enhance the aesthetics of one’s smile. However, this procedure is not without its risks, especially for those with undiagnosed or untreated dental cavities. This blog delves into why undergoing teeth whitening with existing cavities is not just ineffective, but potentially harmful.

Understanding Cavities

Cavities, also known as dental caries, are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. They are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth well. If cavities are left untreated, they can grow larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth, leading to severe toothache, infection, and even tooth loss.

Teeth Whitening Basics

Teeth whitening involves the use of bleaching agents to lighten the color of your teeth. This can be achieved through various methods, ranging from over-the-counter whitening kits to professional treatments administered by a dentist. The goal is to remove surface stains and restore the natural tooth color.

Why Whitening is Not Recommended with Cavities

The primary concern with whitening teeth that have cavities is the increased sensitivity and pain it can cause. Whitening agents, typically containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, can penetrate the decayed areas of the tooth, reaching the sensitive inner parts and potentially causing significant discomfort. Additionally, these agents can exacerbate the decay process, leading to further deterioration of the tooth structure. In extreme cases, the whitening solution might even infiltrate the cavity, causing infection and increasing the risk of further dental complications.

To avoid these risks, it is crucial to address any dental health issues, particularly cavities, before considering teeth whitening. A dental professional can assess your oral health, treat any cavities, and determine the appropriate timing for cosmetic procedures. Ensuring your teeth are healthy before undergoing whitening not only guarantees a more comfortable experience but also leads to better, more lasting results.

In summary, while teeth whitening is an effective way to improve the appearance of your smile, it’s important to approach it with caution if you have cavities. Prioritizing your dental health and seeking professional guidance is key to avoiding unnecessary pain and complications. Remember, a healthy smile is always more beautiful than a merely whitened one.

About Our Practice

At Clear Coast Dental, we have become something of an institution in our community for our dedication to helping people improve their oral health. We feel enormously privileged to have been able to help multiple generations of families make their smiles look their absolute best, and even for our past patients to come in with their own children to see us. We have managed to stay at the forefront of our field for all these years and have no intention of stopping any time soon.

If you have any questions about teeth whitening, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (508) 812-9294.

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