Teeth Whitening and Gum Recession

Young business woman smiling

Teeth whitening has become extremely popular as a way to brighten a smile. While whitening procedures are generally considered safe, they are not for everyone.

Gums that have receded expose the roots of teeth. Those who have exposed tooth roots should not undergo whitening treatment. This is because tooth roots do not have enamel, so they are extremely sensitive to the effects of bleaching agents such as peroxide. The peroxide penetrates the roots too much and can cause increased sensitivity to those teeth.

Those who suffer from gum recession have two choices if they want to have whiter teeth.

1. Soft tissue grafting: This procedure can cover the tooth roots so that whitening can be safely performed. If the gum recession is caused by gum disease, the disease will likely need to be treated further to prevent reoccurrence of the problem.
2. Custom Trays: Those who have exposed roots who do not wish to undergo grafting may be able to have whitening treatment using trays that are custom-made for their teeth. These trays can prevent bleaching gel from coming into contact with the exposed tooth roots. Keep in mind, however, that since the roots cannot be whitened, if they are in visible areas of the smile, the color difference between them and the whitened teeth will likely be noticeable.

If you have exposed tooth roots and would like a whiter smile, contact our teeth whitening doctor in Los Angeles to discuss your options.


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