The colour of your teeth can become discouloured due to many factors. Some of these factors could be due lifestyle habits i.e smoking, coffee, tea, red wine or smoking. Lack of brushing and flossing, certain medication, excessive fluoride, dental problems i.e tooth decay, injuries, thin enamel, tartar can all contribute to discolouration of your teeth.
Tooth whitening is the use of a bleaching agent to whiten the colour of your teeth. Not everyone is suitable for tooth whitening. Your dentist will help determine whether whitening is suitable for you or not. Factors that could make treatment unsuitable for whitening are: discoloured teeth from medication, teeth that have hot and cold sensitivity, teeth that lack enamel, use of tobacco products, gum disease, age and pregnancy or breast feeding.
All treatments have some degree of risk, the risks of bleaching are: tooth pain or discomfort, increased sensitivity to hot and cold, occasionally short term sensitivity to air against teeth from breathing, irritated gums or cheeks, white patches on the gum line, mouth ulcers, sore throat and nausea. Some of these discomforts can be easily treated, for example sensitivity with topical fluoride or pain relievers can help with discomfort.