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The Painful Truth About Gum Bleaching

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Why are some people’s gums naturally purple? Why do dentists burn away pigmentation in the hopes of making teeth look whiter? In this article, we’re going to find out why and — if you’re an average dentist who just wants to whiten your patients’ teeth — what other options there are. Let’s get started!

History Of Gum Bleaching:

Gum bleaching is how dentists would try to remove gum pigmentation in the past — the keyword there being tried. Using painful lasers, dentists would literally burn away an entire layer of the gum tissue in the hopes of getting rid of the melanocytes (which produce pigment-causing melanin).
But using a chemical agent such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are not harmful to gums, is actually more effective and painless than those old methods. Dentists have also found that with time, your own natural saliva will help lighten and fade out any discoloration on your gums.

How Does It Work?

Let me guess, do you want your gums to be purple? — That’s what I used to think too. But now that I know more about the process, I’m glad my dentist told me about it before starting. Purple Gums utilizes a laser to target and remove the melanocytes from the gum tissue while leaving the rest of your mouth untouched. This is all done painlessly in a matter of seconds! The procedure usually doesn’t require any anesthesia, but a topical anesthetic can be applied for those who are very sensitive to pain or who are particularly anxious about their appointment. And when you’re done with your treatment, you’ll have a brighter smile and healthier-looking gums!

Are There Different Types Of Treatments?

Gum bleaching can be done with either lasers or a special toothpaste that literally changes the pH balance of your teeth to make them more acidic. Both methods are effective, but the lasers are much more painful. If you want to bleach your gums at home, there is a new toothpaste called Purple Gums that has been clinically shown to be just as effective as laser treatments in reducing gum pigmentation. The only downside is that the laser treatments will last longer than this new toothpaste, but for those who want to avoid any pain whatsoever, Purple Gums may be the answer.

How Long Does It Last?

Gum bleaching is a procedure that seems to be more common than ever. We’ve seen a rise in the number of people asking their dentist for this treatment, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. But, before you jump on the bandwagon, you should know that it’s not as simple as the procedure sounds. Sure, there’s some pain involved when someone drills into your gums and blasts them with lasers until they’re raw and sore. But then what? Well, for about two weeks following your treatment, you’ll have to take antibiotics and follow up with your dentist at regular intervals because of how much tissue has been removed from your gum line. And the results?

What Are The Risks/Side Effects?

One of the most common side effects is a burning sensation, which can last up to 24 hours. This treatment can also cause bleeding and inflammation in the gums, not to mention possible pain. And while bleaching may be an option for some people, it doesn’t work on everyone.
But don’t worry — there are other ways to lighten your teeth without risking your health. Talk to your dentist about tooth whitening options that won’t hurt you!

Is It Really Worth It?

Bleaching your gums is an extreme measure that will cause more problems than it solves. Dentists may be able to bleach the gum tissue, but they can’t erase the melanocytes that cause pigmentation in the first place. The only way to get rid of those melanocytes is through surgery, which would require removing a layer of skin from your face. For something as simple as whitening your teeth, there are safer and less invasive ways to achieve that goal.

Final Thoughts/Recommendations:

In order to make teeth appear whiter, many people turn to a process called gum bleaching. It sounds like it should be easy and painless, but a recent study shows that the procedure can actually be quite painful. It is especially painful if you have sensitive gums. It’s also possible for your gums to become more pigmented because of the procedure. In some cases, people have reported infection after the procedure. All in all, gum bleaching may not be worth it for the pain and potential complications.

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