Oral Health: Don't Ignore Your GumsOral Health: Don't Ignore Your Gums

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Oral Health: Don't Ignore Your Gums

When you go to your dentist, you are likely concerned about cavities and the stains on your teeth. If you are like me, then you probably never thought much about your gums. Unfortunately, this caused me to form a serious gum recession condition. My dentist said that hard brushing practices, poor flossing techniques, and even the consumption of sugary foods led to the recession. After some deep scaling treatments, I was informed that I needed a gum graft procedure. The gums are extremely important to your health. They provide your teeth with the nutrients they need and they protect the sensitive dental roots. The gums even keep bacteria away from your jaw bone. Don't ignore your gums like I did. Read my blog and learn about proper oral care techniques. Prevention practices can easily save your gums from necessary restoration.

At Home Whitening Methods That Can Damage The Teeth

If you have stained teeth and are desperate to remove the stains, then you may look at all of the tooth whitening options available to you. However, you should know that some options can cause damage to the teeth, and the whitening products do not even need to be professional grade. This is one reason why it is wise to seek out assistance from a dental professional if you want a truly white smile. Keep reading to learn about two seemingly harmless whitening agents and how they can damage the teeth:

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the ingredient in many types of whitening toothpaste. This is one reason why individuals will make a poultice or paste out of the baking soda and use it to scrub the teeth. However, baking soda is only one of many ingredients in the paste. If you use baking soda alone to brush, then the abrasive will scrape more aggressively against the teeth. 

Baking soda cannot and will not reach the deep stains in the tooth crevices and you may continue to use your baking soda again and again in an attempt to whiten them. Basically, it will appear as though the paste is not working, but in reality, it will be scraping away at the enamel with every application. This can leave you with thinned tooth enamel that will actually start to appear more yellow as the dentin starts to appear more prominently through the thinning enamel. 

The enamel cannot be rebuilt once it is lost, so it is wise to keep heavy abrasive agents away from the teeth or you may cause a permanent dental injury.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are marketed as a safe alternative to an in-office whitening treatment. Whitening strips are indeed quite safe, but they must be used as directed if you want to keep your teeth healthy. The whitening gel used on the strips is the same one that your dentist will use in his office. While the gel is a much weaker solution, it can cause damage if it is used too often or too long. The gel can actually eat through the enamel and cause the same sort of issue that an abrasive agent can; namely, you will be able to see the dentin underneath the enamel.

Whitening agents can actually remove the shimmer or shine from the teeth too, so they will start to appear dull. In some cases, the mineral content of the teeth will break down and you will see white spots or splotches on the teeth when this happens. Many of the negative dental effects are permanent or long lasting, so it is wise to work with your dentist if you want whiter teeth instead of going it alone. 

Contact a cosmetic dentistry office for more information and assistance.