Many teeth can be stained by use of tobacco, coffee, tea, or red wine. In addition, trauma to a tooth resulting in broken blood vessels within its pulp, or a dark colored filling material used for cavities, can also cause discoloration. In order to restore natural color, your dentist may recommend bleaching. Bleaching is a common technique used to whiten and lighten the surface of a tooth. The procedure is simple, and involves the application of a bleaching solution to the tooth's enamel. While this is usually done in a dentist's office, there are some home treatments that may be prescribed by your dentist. These involve the use of a tray, fitted to your teeth, filled with bleaching material. Both of these procedures are usually effective for treating stains on the surface of the teeth. For internally discolored teeth, your dentist may choose to bleach your teeth on both the inside and outside. Internal bleaching is used when the interior of the tooth has been discolored due to fillings or ruptured blood vessels. Bleaching benefits can last for about a year, and then may need re-treatment. For more information on tooth discoloration and bleaching, talk with your dentist.
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