Teeth Whitening: What Are The Options?

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One of the first things noticed about a person’s smile is the color of their teeth. Tooth discoloration is an unfortunate, but common problem for many people. There is a simple solution to help brighten your smile; teeth whitening!

Tooth Discoloration Causes

There are two different types of tooth discoloration known as extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. Extrinsic discoloration affects the outer layer of the tooth. These stains can be caused by food, drink, and or tobacco. Intrinsic discoloration comes from within the tooth. The causes of this can include aging, trauma, and medication.


When it comes to teeth whitening, you have three options. Two of these options involve a dentist. Your dentist can provide chairside bleaching at the office, or trays. Trays are custom fit that comes with a bleaching solution for treatment at home. At Wytheville Dental Group, one of our many services includes teeth whitening. We offer both chairside whitening at our office and custom trays for at-home whitening. In more severe cases, we use Kor Whitening for deeper stains. The third option includes over-the-counter products. These include stain-removing toothpaste, whitening toothpaste, and whitening strips. Over-the-counter products are typically not as permanent as professional whitening services.


Teeth whitening products contain the bleaches hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. These bleaches work by breaking stains into smaller pieces. In turn, the color becomes less concentrated and diminishes. Professional whitening services bleach teeth with carbamide. Carbamide breaks down to hydrogen peroxide and urea, which then targets color in a chemical reaction. In-office whitening services contain more hydrogen peroxide than at-home whitening. Over-the-counter products have a lower concentration of carbamide peroxide than professional dental products. Stain-removing toothpaste only removes surface stains with polishing agents. Whitening toothpaste has no carbamide and targets the surface of the tooth with abrasive and blue covering. Whitening strips have a smaller amount of hydrogen peroxide than professional dental products. In other words, each product has a different process!

Side Effects

Some of the side effects of whitening include tooth sensitivity. This happens when peroxide goes through the enamel to the dentin. This can affect the nerves in your mouth. When the product makes contact with your gums, it can cause sensitivity. In addition, the overuse of bleach can destroy gums and enamel.

If you are interested in learning about our whitening services, visit us at Wytheville Dental Group. At Wytheville, we provide patients a variety of dental services, including teeth whitening, cleanings, procedures, and more. To schedule an appointment, visit us online here or you can reach us at (276) 228-2777 today!