Can I Have a Teeth Whitening Treatment With Gum Disease?
A professional teeth whitening treatment can make your teeth drastically whiter after a single session. The procedure is non-invasive and typically involves using a customized mouthguard to apply bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen carbamide to remove stains from the inner and outer layers of teeth.
The question is: Are teeth whitening treatments safe for those with gum disease? The answer to that question is, "Not really."
Whitening treatments are rarely recommended for those dealing with gum disease or other dental problems, like tooth decay. Gum disease is an infection of gum tissues that occurs when bacteria get underneath the gums. It is a progressive disease that can be reversed in its early stages, but its more advanced stages can lead to teeth loss.
How teeth whitening treatments aggravate gum disease
The bleaching compounds used to whiten teeth during whitening treatments can irritate the nerves in teeth and gum tissues. People who have gum disease typically already deal with gum irritation and pain. Whitening treatments would only lead to more pain and irritation for such people, and it can even end up damaging their teeth.
Dentists typically recommend getting gum disease under control before considering whitening treatments. How advanced a patient's gum disease has progressed typically influences the dentist's approach to treating it.
Patients with gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, might only need teeth cleaning and a renewed dedication to oral hygiene, while those with periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, might need more invasive procedures like root scaling and planing, and gum flap surgery.
Other issues can also prevent teeth whitening treatments
As we mentioned early, gum disease is not the only issue that can force a dentist to postpone whitening treatments. Other dental issues like tooth decay, tartar buildup, gum recession and sensitive teeth can also prevent patients from improving the color of their teeth with whitening treatments.
Dentists typically perform an oral examination prior to whitening treatments to determine if the patient's teeth and gums are healthy enough for the procedure. The dentist might also use tests like X-rays to evaluate the health of the structures that support teeth. The oral professional will usually address any problems detected before proceeding with teeth whitening treatments. Performing teeth whitening treatments on teeth and gum tissues that have been damaged can lead to pain, discomfort, irritation and damage to the structures that support teeth.
Gum disease affects other treatments
Whitening treatments are not the only procedures that dentists might need to postpone due to gum disease. Other treatments that are usually not performed when a person has untreated gum disease include:
- The installation of implants
- Treatments using composite resins
- The installation of orthodontic devices like braces
- Fitting veneers
We can treat gum disease and whiten your teeth
Our dentist can perform the dental treatments you need to keep your gum disease under control and the teeth whitening treatments you need to improve their color. Call or visit our Coral Gables clinic to set up an appointment.
Request an appointment here: https://www.gablesexceptionaldentistry.com or call Gables Exceptional Dentistry at (305) 203-4132 for an appointment in our Coral Gables office.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Coral Gables, FL.
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