Teeth whitening is the most requested cosmetic procedure performed
in this country. Coffee, tobacco, some foods and especially
medications (which are the worst offenders) can stain or permanently damage
There are many different types of whitening formulas that contain a
variety of solutions and technologies. Hydrogen peroxide is not my first
choice because it can cause sensitivity.
Hydrogen peroxide forms radical intermediates -- extremely
unstable and destructive molecules -- that break down into water and oxygen.
The free radical intermediates react with the pigments that stain your
teeth and destroy and can also damage your gums and nerves.
If you have gum disease, receding gums or allergies, you
should avoid bleaching until your condition has been properly treated.
You will want to consider the different formulas and make an
informed and conscious choice with your doctor. You can avoid potentially
serious toxicity and injuries to your teeth and gums if you follow these
Given all the possible dangerous effects of tooth bleaching,
it is probably not your best choice. There are, however, other methods
that can be used on stained teeth.
Tooth veneers are one alternative option to bleaching. Veneers are
thin coverings made of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth. Though they
won't stain, they are not as long-lasting as real teeth.