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Can Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Feb 25, 2022Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening process is a gentle and effective tooth cleaning that works to remove persistent dental stains to give you a more vibrant and rejuvenated smile. You can also incorporate teeth whitening with dental treatment to restore your confidence and your smile completely. However, although the teeth whitening process should not be painful, unfortunately, it sometimes causes temporary teeth sensitivity in some patients.

Tooth sensitivity is mostly a side effect caused by tooth whitening because of the bleaching solution used in the whitening process. The solution is meant to remove minerals within the outer part of the tooth, referred to as enamel, which leaves the tooth porous. The sensitivity results from the nerves exposed through the porous enamel, allowing warmth or coldness to reach the dental nerves.  The good news is that sensitivity does not take a long time to heal, and with time, you will have your white teeth without the sensitivity.

Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

While not all patients experience tooth sensitivity after a teeth whitening procedure, some of them may experience mild to moderate sensitivity. That happens only when you take hot or cold meals or drinks, lasting for only a few days. Here is what happens to sensitive teeth:

  • You may experience sharp pain that may extend down to the root of the tooth
  • You may experience sharp pain when you suddenly when you eat or drink something cold or hot
  • Experience pain when you are eating sugary foods or take anything sour or acidic

Mostly tooth sensitivity happens when the professional uses teeth whitening products that have hydrogen peroxide. Some have teeth sensitive to peroxide, and when used in the whitening product, it may cause sensitivity. Some patients may even experience some mild pain or discomfort during the process, although it is not a common occurrence. Such people may also experience some discomfort when eating or drinking anything cold or hot, but the sensitivity soon goes away with time.

How to Deal with Teeth Whitening Sensitivity

Having white teeth does not have to be painful, and therefore, you need to know and understand what you can do when you experience teeth sensitivity. Here are a few precautions you can take to limit sensitivity in your teeth after your teeth whitening process.

  1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Can Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Sometimes using even mild teeth whitening products can still cause sensitivity in certain individuals. One of the best ways of minimizing sensitivity after teeth whitening is to avoid anything below or above room temperature. For example, taking cold foods like ice cream can cause a very sharp pain in your teeth. It is, therefore, better to avoid extreme temperature fluctuations until your teeth clear the sensitivity.

  1. Use Products with Lower Peroxide Level and Shorter Application Times

If your teeth are sensitive, it is important to avoid using whitening products with hydrogen peroxide. Various teeth whitening products contain less or no hydrogen peroxide, and using them will reduce sensitivity on your teeth. Also, reduce the application time so that the whitening product does not affect your teeth so much. You can also look for teeth brushing products that can help remove the stains from your teeth. Some of ten products like crest gum and gentle whitening toothpaste can help you maintain your white teeth smile without suffering from tooth sensitivity.


Can Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

It would be best to begin using sensitive teeth toothpaste a week or more before your teeth whitening procedure. The sensitive toothpaste and gels help cover the dentinal tubules or desensitize the nerve endings. By the time you are using the teeth whitening products, you do not experience the sensitivity.

If you are using a home teeth whitening kit, it is important to adjust it according to your teeth’ sensitivity and make the whitening duration shorter. Also, when you are rinsing your mouth after the whitening product, you should use only lukewarm but not cold water. Also, note that it is not advisable to sleep with your teeth whitening kit on. Staying with it for a long time allows more bleaching agents to reach the dental nerves and may increase your teeth sensitivity.

After the Whitening Process

Please discuss with your dentist your sensitivity and let them recommend to you some prescription-strength toothpaste specifically designed for sensitivity. Also, when brushing your teeth, you should take precautions not to use the same bristle brush and do not rinse the mouth with either extremely hot or cold water. The best practice is to use lukewarm water to avoid increasing sensitivity. Also, speak to teeth whitening experts if you are to carry out the whitening process at home through the best procedure.

  1. Reduce the Frequency

Shortening the teeth whitening time will help reduce your tooth sensitivity but also shortening the frequency works better. It is better to take good care of your teeth by brushing them well after eating something that can affect the teeth or smoking than to wait to go through the whitening process. If you avoid the process altogether or take a long time before the next whitening process, it will give you a good break from sensitivity issues.

Also, it is important to understand what may cause severe sensitivity and avoid using such products for your teeth whitening. Increasing the use of the products that affect your teeth sensitivity may eventually begin causing some pain in your teeth. And during the whitening process, avoid anything that can trigger sensitivity. For example, take only lukewarm foods, nothing too cold or too hot during the whitening periods.

Use a Straw

If it is a must for you to take cold drinks, you can minimize the sensitivity by using a straw to sip your drink and because you can sip it to the throat without passing through ten teeth.

Take note that you can still maintain white teeth without having to experience sensitivity. But it will be necessary for you to understand your teeth and know what may increase your sensitivity. Once you know what you can and cannot use for your teeth whitening and how to take good care of your teeth during the whitening process, then you can enjoy your white teeth. In addition, white teeth will give you the confidence to smile and build your self-esteem. Therefore take care of your teeth and if you have to whiten them talk to a professional.

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