There are many ways to go about making your teeth whiter. Whether you have a dentist perform the work for you or use a teeth whitening kit at home, there are a variety of services and products to choose from. Unless you have issues with your dental enamel, that is. When your enamel has degraded, teeth whitening solutions will still go to work, whitening the enamel that's there without affecting the exposed dentin. However, not only will the whitening be less effective, but you might inadvertently damage your teeth by introducing the whitening solution to parts of your teeth it was not designed to be in contact with. How could your enamel have become compromised? And does this mean that you can't whiten your teeth at all?
How Enamel Can Become Damaged
Enamel can be weakened and lost due to dietary factors and poor oral hygiene, although this is a gradual process. There can also be a medical condition which can result in enamel that is limited in coverage, significantly weakened, or absent entirely. Minimal or missing enamel can be the result of a condition called enamel hypoplasia, whereas soft and weak enamel might be caused by enamel hypocalcification.
The State and Coverage of Your Enamel
Your dentist might have diagnosed one of these conditions previously, but they cannot be reversed. It might be suggested that you utilise one of the many remineralisation products on the market to assist your compromised enamel, and yet this is not going to be a cure. The best approach for whitening your teeth depends on the state and coverage of your enamel, and whether only specific teeth in your mouth are affected.
A Specialised Approach to Whitening
When individual teeth have compromised enamel, their neighbours can still be whitened. And yet, rather logically, this means that the untreated teeth will be a different colour (which can be quite obvious when you smile). When the state of a tooth's enamel make whitening impossible, it will need to be covered with a prosthetic device, which will most likely be a dental veneer. The veneer will be coloured to your desired specifications, and then the remaining teeth will be whitened to match that colour. The onus is then on you to maintain this level of whiteness, since the veneer will not lose its original colour. In the case of enamel hypoplasia or enamel hypocalcification when your dentist is worried that an overall tooth might begin to degrade, a dental crown (which can encase the entire tooth) might be recommended. Again, any unaffected teeth can be whitened to match the colour of the prosthetic covering.
Compromised dental enamel doesn't exclude you from having beautifully white teeth, although it can mean that a specialised approach is needed.