Can Teeth Whitening Be Used to Hide Thinning Tooth Enamel?

Posted on: 24 October 2017

Tooth whitening treatments have been shown to cause enamel erosion when used too much. As tooth enamel erodes, the underlying layer of dentin, which is yellow in colour, becomes more visible. However, when used responsibly, teeth whitening kits and strips can remove stains from the surface of teeth.

What whitening treatments cannot do, however, is reverse or cover up thinning enamel. If you have been wondering whether you should attempt to hide your enamel loss with whitening treatments, you should know that whitening will not give you the results you require.

Tooth Whitening Removes Stains

Enamel erosion is not caused by smoking, drinking coffee, or eating staining foods such as red pasta sauce. Your teeth are yellower because the dentin is more visible. Hydrogen and carbamide peroxide are not designed to whiten dentin. Though there may be a slight change in shade, whitening will barely make any difference to teeth with thinning enamel.

Teeth whitening treatments are effective at removing stain-causing molecules that have worked their way into the enamel of your teeth. The peroxide comes into contact with these molecules and via chemical reaction, is able to dissolve them, thus removing the stains. If your teeth are yellow because you have thin enamel, porcelain or composite veneers might be more suitable.

Veneers Can Hide Thinning Enamel

If you wish to hide teeth that have yellowed due to enamel loss, veneers are the best option for you. Although they do require the removal of some enamel in order to create a strong bond between the tooth and the veneer, they can adequately hide any evidence of thinning enamel, giving you a bright and pleasing smile.

Of the two types of veneer, porcelain is the most attractive and durable and can last for 10 years or more. However, if cost is an issue, composite veneers can produce similar results at less cost. The downside of composite veneers, however, is that they are prone to staining and may need to be replaced within a few years.

Address the Cause of the Enamel Erosion

Before you try to hide the damage, you should identify the cause. Otherwise, the damage may continue, even after you have the veneers placed, putting your veneers at risk too. Identifying the cause of your enamel loss will help you to prolong the life of your veneers. For example, if nighttime grinding is the cause, you should also purchase a dental night guard to ensure your teeth and veneers don't suffer damage at night.

If your diet is rich in sugar, then you should consider making an adjustment in order to halt the damage otherwise because veneers will not enamel erosion, they will only mask it. Contact a local dentist for more information and assistance.