Teeth Aren’t Supposed to be White: Study Finds Whitening Permanently Weakens Them

November 28, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Study finds whitening permanently softens and demineralizes your teeth. Here’s why “off-white” teeth healthier and stronger:

Like the rest of our bones, teeth aren’t naturally white. They’re ivory or even light yellow.

If you want them to be healthy and strong, you should leave them that way, according to a recent study published by the Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practices.

The study found whitening or “bleaching” your teeth demineralizes and softens them.

Earlier research had shown that whitening increases tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation, but the new research sheds light on other risks “such as tooth surface roughening and softening, increased potential for demineralization.”

According to the BBC’s ScienceFocus.com:

The strongest teeth are natural, healthy ones and these teeth are not white. At least, not white like the colour of paper, or even the colour of piano keys. They are a couple of shades darker than that. The enamel itself is a blueish white colour, but it is also somewhat translucent so the yellow of the dentine beneath it shows through to make the overall colour of the teeth either light grey or light yellow.

As you get older your teeth often become yellower as the enamel begins to wear away, exposing the dentine beneath, the study’s authors said.

Bleaching and polishing not only speed up this process, they also permanently weaken the teeth.

“Bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide that diffuses through the enamel. It breaks down the compounds that are causing the discoloration, known as chromogenic compounds, and your teeth become lighter,”Adriana Manso, a clinical assistant professor in the Faculty of Dentistry, told The University of British Columbia.

“The damage it causes to the dental enamel is permanent and irreversible.”

For stained or unnaturally dark yellow teeth, natural, less abrasive whitening methods are available: