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Teeth Whitening – Article from Deep Body Magazine, Dec. 2014 Issue
Legendary author Dr. Seuss enlightened us when he said, “Teeth are always in style.” However it may not feel that way when your pearly whites are starting to look more like dingy daggers.
If you’ve tried at-home whitening kits, your interest in a brighter smile isn’t something new. But if you’re seeking more than what you can get off the shelf, professional whitening is a procedure becoming more popular and trustworthy, and an easier, more efficient way to get the smile you want.
“The general patient concern is whether the procedure will be painful, harm the gums, if the whitening will work, and how long it will last,” said Dr. Lily Lo, dentist at Lawrence Avenue Dental. “There are virtually no side effects to whitening if done properly in a relatively healthy and well-maintained dentition. The amount of whitening that a patent will achieve depends on the type of discolouration (whether extrinsic, intrinsic, Tetracycline stained), [the] patient’s dietary habits (smoker, coffee, wine), and the age of the patient, as well as [the] presence of bonding or old restorations.”
Dr. Lo stated that an in-office dental whitening system is a simple 15-minute application of a bleaching solution activated by a blue light. It’s quick, easy to tolerate and does not cause excessive sensitivity on the teeth, even in patients who claim to have very sensitive teeth. In most cases, depending on the patient’s existing shade, Dr. Lo expects to see teeth whiten up to six shades. Side effects include transient gingival irritation by the hydrogen peroxide if in contact for a period of time, and small blisters and some sloughing can occur but will heal within three to five days.
Although Dr. Lo still offers the take-home whitening with custom bleaching trays, she said busy people have no time or motivation to conduct this nightly procedure, and it also causes temporary pain to patients with sensitive teeth, leading her to be in favour of the in-office procedure. With an average age range of working women between 25 to 50 years old, she also stated that more and more teens are getting whitening done after orthodontic work.
But it’s no surprise that women seek this work, especially when it can create a beautiful, more healthy-looking smile.
“Whiter teeth definitely enhances our smile,” said Dr. Lo. “In a world where we are judged by our appearances, white teeth convey health, wealth, youthfulness and education. It plays a part in our overall attractiveness, which in turn gives us confidence in our social interactions at work and in our personal lives. Having whiter teeth may be more important than you think.”
The Mouth-Body Connection
Poor oral hygiene is a problem that can result in many serious ailments. Remember your mouth is the gateway to your body. If you do not have good dental health you do not have good overall health. That is a fact.
For instance gum disease could alert you to issues with heart disease or diabetes. Loose teeth can be an indication of osteoporosis.
When you neglect your teeth and stop routine visits to the dentist, bacteria can build up on teeth and make gums prone to infection. Your immune system fights the infection and the result is inflammation of the gums. Given enough time the inflammation can result in severe gum disease and the inflammation may cause problems to the rest of the body. Bleeding gums are the first warning signs that “all is not well” and without treatment, irreversible bone loss can occur. Tooth loss and dental decay can lead to sensitivity, pain, poor mastication, and a change of diet that is low in fibre and nutrition.
In recent research, it would appear that the relationship between poor oral hygiene and diabetes is perhaps the strongest of all connections between the mouth and body.
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Although it is not fully understood there is a relationship between gum disease and heart disease. There is a theory that inflammation of the mouth causes inflammation of the blood vessels which can increase the risk for heart attack.
So good health begins by taking care of your teeth and gums. If you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, book a check-up and cleaning today! Along with good oral hygiene, paying attention to your nutrition, regular exercise and avoidance of smoking, you can enjoy a healthy smile for a long life.