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Can you get your teeth whitened if you have gum recession?

Teeth whitening is an aesthetic process that lightens your teeth and removes the stains from the teeth. This aesthetic procedure has become one of the most popular dental procedure. Whether it be college going teens, bride or groom, or mature adults, everyone looks forward to teeth whitening. As it is getting more popular day by day, it is also getting more accessible. There are many methods of whitening of teeth. Most of the whitening kits usually contain peroxide in bleaching agent. The mechanism of teeth whitening includes uptake of peroxide by dental tissue and becoming lighter.

Teeth getting yellow is a normal part of ageing process. However, teeth discolouration can also be caused intrinsically due to genes, fluoride, trauma, and medications. This can also happen extrinsically due to food and drinks like tea and coffee, and tobacco use. Teeth whitening works best for natural and healthy teeth. Therefore, a careful dental evaluation is required before starting the procedure of teeth whitening. Gum recession is one of the most common dental disorders, and it occurs gradually without letting you know. During the dental evaluation, your dentist can quickly diagnose the presence of gum recession. The common causes of gum recession are insufficient dental care, bacterial gum infection, aggressive tooth brushing, tobacco use, clenching of teeth in anger or due to stress, hormonal changes like in pregnancy, and irritation of gums due to the piercing of lips and tongue.

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During gum recession, roots of teeth get exposed to the external environment and can decay easily due to the absence of enamel layer on the roots. In the case of the presence of dental caries or calculus, it can further cause sensitivity while coming in contact with whitening solutions. Additionally, since the whitening procedures do not work on tooth roots without enamel, people with gum recession should not opt for teeth whitening before getting their gum recession treated. Teeth whitening without treating the gum recession can be compared to cosmetic remodelling of a house without getting its rotten floor repaired. Treatment of gum recession would depend on its cause and the level of damage to the gingival fibres and tissue. However, gum recession can be effectively treated by your dentist through a well-thought-out treatment plan, and it could include either scaling and planning or a minor surgical procedure.

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure; therefore, it should be started with healthy teeth after any existing underlying dental disorders, including gum recession, have been taken care of.

For evaluation and guidance for your teeth whitening, contact Dental Avenue Maroubra on 02 9344 8822.

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