Gum bleaching, also known as teeth whitening, has been around since the 1990s, but dentists have long since moved on to better, safer ways to whiten teeth — namely through laser bleaching (which doesn’t damage the gum tissue). If you’re wondering why anyone would ever bleach their gums in the first place, it comes down to one main reason: aesthetics. Although some people might experience gum pigmentation as a side effect of the medication they take or some other cause, most people want whiter teeth because they believe it makes them look more attractive.
What Is Tooth Bleaching?
Tooth bleaching is a method of whitening teeth that’s considered to be one of the safest and most effective methods. Tooth bleaching typically involves applying a bleaching agent to teeth that can lighten or whiten enamel. The products used in tooth bleaching come in gels, foams, and strips. In addition, dentists can also use lasers to speed up tooth whitening by using heat and energy as an alternative to chemicals. Most dentist offices now only use laser treatments because they are more comfortable for patients than other methods and more effective at removing stains from teeth. Today, we’ll talk about gum bleaching but keep in mind that most of these methods could be applied to your mouth’s entire surface of teeth if desired.
What Causes Gum Pigmentation?
Gum pigmentation — more commonly referred to as hyperpigmentation — is caused by trauma to your gums. When gums become sensitive or infected, they can bleed easily, which creates even more trauma. Over time, these little injuries add up and your gums begin to redden and darken. There are other causes of gum bleaching, though. Your body naturally produces melanin in order to protect itself from ultraviolet (UV) rays and heal wounds; most of us have it on our skin because that’s where most of our melanocytes are located.
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How Safe Is Laser Tooth Bleaching?
Dentists are ditching in-office tooth bleaching for a safer — and less painful — alternative. These days, laser teeth whitening is a common treatment for stained, discolored, or unevenly colored teeth. It’s quick, easy, and effective for anyone who isn’t happy with their smile or is ready to invest in cosmetic dentistry. But contrary to popular belief, laser teeth whitening isn’t as dramatic as its name makes it sound. In fact, most people describe it as tingly rather than painful. That said, there are still some risks involved that you should be aware of before you decide whether to have your dentist perform laser teeth whitening at your next appointment.
What If At-Home Solutions Don’t Work?
Even after bleaching, there’s still a chance you won’t be happy with your gum color. In fact, up to half of the people who undergo bleaching don’t get desired results. That said, if that happens you can still look into other treatments like dental veneers or even laser tattoo removal. (Yes, laser tattoo removal is a thing!) Most dentists offer several options beyond bleaching when it comes to addressing gum discoloration so don’t feel pressure to choose it as your only option. You do have options!
Best Whitening Toothpaste On The Market:
After looking at dozens of toothpaste, we’ve narrowed down our favorite whitening toothpaste to four top brands. So, here they are — along with a little something extra — if you can believe it. Use them together for maximum results!* Note that we’re also including some non-whitening pastes because of their effective ingredients, so don’t be thrown off by them. We’ll let you know which ones work best on actual teeth as compared to overpriced strips.