Americans are beginning to go overboard with whitening their teeth.
In the last 10 years, people trying to achieve the perfect smile are bleaching their teeth to a point of no return.
This condition of overbleaching, or “bleachorexia” as it’s sometimes referred to as, is the result of the way these people abuse their teeth. They use the in-office and at-home bleaching agents, which erodes their teeth. Their teeth also become susceptible to sensitivity. The teeth basically become unhealthy, regardless of the way they look.
The carbamide peroxide, which is a substance in most bleaching agents, could irritate the gums and force them to recede. The teeth then may become brittle, chalky and thin to the point of being translucent.
Other possibilities that may be seen from overbleaching could be the eating away of the protective enamel. This would result in a more yellowish color for the teeth, because that’s what the teeth look like behind the enamel.
Once the enamel is gone, there’s no way to get it back. The need to have crowns or veneers often is the result.
According to one study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Americans spend more than $1 billion on teeth whitening each year. The whitening process can be done correctly when administered by a dentist, or even if the person follows the instructions for the at-home whitening products. But the fact that at-home whitening products exist makes it easy for the people addicted to bleaching to get their hands on the products.
It’s not that at-home whitening products are unsafe or ineffective. They just can’t be abused—something that’s happening way too often.