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Tooth Whitening

Over time your teeth will begin to stain from various things such as smoking, consumption of coffee / dark beverages, and normal wear and tear, teeth may lose their shine and begin to appear yellowed or stained. Whitening is an inexpensive and safe option to bring back their brightness. Whitening has become a very popular procedure for enhancing smiles, since patients can expect their teeth to look about two shades whiter than what they started with.

Home whitening kits are typically the preferred way of whitening. With this option, the patient is responsible for using the kit consistently until they see the desired whiteness. Impressions are made of teeth so that the trays are custom fit for the patient. The whitening solution will be put into these trays and worn for specific periods of time. Wearing the trays periodically usually requires maintenance, only until desired whitening is achieved.

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especially along the gumline and between teeth that are crooked or crowded. If plaque is not removed within about 48 hours after it forms, it begins to calcify into tartar, a hard substance that cannot be removed with brushing or flossing. However, your dental hygienist can remove these stubborn deposits with a special instrument Having tartar removed can help prevent gum disease and keep the earliest stages of the condition (gingivitis) from progressing to the more advanced and irreversible stages (periodontitis).

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition with three stages:

1

Gingivitis:

Plaque contains numerous strains of bacteria, many of which can irritate the gums and cause them to swell and bleed. This is the first stage of gum disease and is completely reversible. A thorough professional cleaning coupled with vigilant cleaning techniques at home, which your dental hygienist will demonstrate for you, will usually restore your gum tissues to optimal health.

2

Periodontitis:

This stage of gum disease occurs when tartar along the gumline breaks the attachment of the gums to the teeth, causing bone loss and periodontal pockets.

These openings between the gums and teeth trap food particles and bacteria that damage the structures holding the teeth in place. A therapeutic (deep) cleaning by your hygienist or dentist, which involves removing bacteria from the periodontal and root surfaces so that the gums can reattach to them, can help prevent more damage. Antibiotic therapy and antimicrobial rinses are also used in some cases to help control the infection.

3

Advanced Periodontitis:

In this third stage of periodontal disease, the gums, periodontal ligaments and bone sustain so much damage that the teeth may begin to loosen. In the advanced stages, your hygienist cannot help you. You need more aggressive treatments from a Periodontist, such as laser surgery and bone or gum tissue grafts to help prevent tooth loss.