Here's Why Your Yellow, Sensitive Teeth Refuse To Whiten

27 October 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Have you given up trying to whiten your teeth after a few too many bad experiences? If your attempts have been unsuccessful, your teeth may be as stubbornly yellow as ever—but your teeth could now be incredibly sensitive as well. Aside from just learning to live with your yellow teeth, what's the solution to your problem?

Dental Enamel Erosion

There's a good chance that you're experiencing enamel erosion. Dental enamel is the strong outer coating of your teeth, and it protects the lower layer of your teeth, which is made of a substance called dentin. Enamel is the layer of a tooth that responds to whitening treatments. And while it's incredibly strong, it can still wear away.

Thin and Patchy

Enamel erosion can be caused by the acidic components of your diet and by oral bacteria corroding its surface. Some people just have naturally thin dental enamel. When enamel wears away, it's gone forever. As it thins and becomes patchy, the dentin underneath can often be seen. As this is a yellow color, it makes your teeth look stained—even though you're only seeing the natural color of a tooth's dentin. 

The Composition of Dentin

This dentin contains countless tubules, which are tiny passages (so small that you can't see them). They lead to the pulp chamber, which is the hollow in the middle of the tooth where its nerve is found. You might have been applying whitening gel to the dentin. Dentin simply can't whiten in this way, which explains your lack of success. Additionally, trace amounts of the whitening gel may have made its way through your dentin's tubules to the tooth's nerve, which explains your sensitivity.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Although traditional whitening treatments aren't going to work for you, this isn't to suggest that your teeth can't be made to look white. Instead of an over-the-counter product, you'll need to find your solution at a cosmetic dental clinic. Any visible yellow dentin won't technically be recolored. Instead, it will be concealed.

Bonding Your Teeth

Because eroded enamel makes a tooth more vulnerable to decay, concealing your exposed dentin has both a cosmetic and a clinical purpose. The simplest and most cost-effective option is dental bonding, which utilizes the same tooth-colored resin that a dentist uses to patch a cavity. A thin layer of the material is applied to the tooth's surface, both protecting it and improving its appearance. It's dried with a curing light for instant results, and you can choose a lighter shade of the material to make your teeth appear whitened.

Someone with eroded dental enamel will face ongoing serious problems if they try to whiten their teeth, but these problems can be avoided with a quick cosmetic dental treatment. For more information, visit a cosmetic dentist clinic.