Ever get those vertical lines on teeth after whitening? If it’s something that concerns you, you’re not alone. It’s not something you really expect to get after teeth whitening. If anything, it’s something you want to avoid, especially if you get them on your front teeth. Having unevenly whitened teeth, after all, is a nightmare most people who get their teeth whitened fear. But while it might look unsightly, these white lines might give you an insight into the state of your oral hygiene. So if you have visible lines in your teeth, what do they mean?
First off, it should be essential to note that when you whiten your teeth, you’re actually just brightening a pre-existing shade. And our teeth aren’t evenly shaded for the most part. Some areas can be lighter than others. So if you whiten your teeth all at once, these lighter parts tend to stick out more. It’s also for this reason why we recommend getting professional teeth whitening. Your dentist can monitor the areas of the teeth that need more whitening, so they become even.
If you do see these vertical lines on teeth after whitening, however, what do they mean?
The visible lines in your teeth were always there
There’s a bevy of reasons why you’d have vertical lines on teeth after whitening. Your enamel might be thinner in specific areas on your teeth. Or maybe the white lines might be a sign your teeth could be lacking minerals. Regardless of the reason, one thing’s clear—those visible lines in your teeth had always been there.
So what happened? Earlier, we talked about how teeth whitening can make the lighter parts of your teeth stick out more. And in a way, that can be a good thing. These white lines can tell you if there’s something wrong with your teeth. And, consequently, what you can do to fix it.
What usually causes these white lines, then? Often, they are the following:
- Thinning tooth enamel. Our dentin is naturally yellow. When our tooth enamel grows thin, it slowly exposes the dentin, giving it a yellowish color. It’s not uncommon to notice your teeth growing yellow as you grow older. If you find some of your teeth growing white while other parts are turning yellow after whitening, it might be a sign that you’ve got thin tooth enamel.
- Hypocalcification. When your tooth enamel loses enough minerals, it undergoes something called hypocalcification. This can happen when you don’t keep to your oral hygiene routine. Because it is chalky white in appearance, post-teeth whitening can make these areas stand out further.
- Tooth dehydration. When you get professional teeth whitening, your dentist might add a hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth. The hydrogen peroxide opens your enamel pores to break down the stain-causing particles and effectively whiten your teeth. Post-whitening, however, it can dehydrate your teeth in spots, leaving white marks in the process. Unlike the first two causes, tooth dehydration is, fortunately, a temporary side-effect.
Talk to your dentist about treatment
So what happens if you find vertical lines on teeth after whitening? The answer might depend on the cause. If it’s as simple as tooth dehydration, waiting it out might be the best solution. But if those visible lines in your teeth are the result of hypocalcification or thinning enamel, you might need to consult your dentist for treatment options. You might need a fluoride treatment to remineralize your teeth.