Sensitivity from Teeth Whitening

A bright, white smile is something many of us desire, especially around the holidays. Therefore, teeth whitening is a popular way to achieve this. But, it often comes with a downside—sensitivity. This can be an issue that keeps people from achieving a stunning white smile. However, understanding the cause of sensitivity can help you minimize or avoid this discomfort. 

Sensitivity from Teeth Whitening

The Science Behind Teeth Whitening Sensitivity

It’s essential to understand the science behind teeth whitening. Most teeth whitening treatments, whether done at the dentist’s office or using at-home kits, use peroxide-based ingredients. These help to bleach your teeth. Peroxide works to get into the enamel. This breaks down and removes stains. In the process, it can reach the dentin, the layer beneath your enamel.

The Sensitivity Connection

The dentin is filled with tiny tubules that connect to the nerve of your tooth. When peroxide penetrates the enamel and reaches the dentin, it can trigger nerve sensitivity. As a result, this can lead to pain. This is why some people have tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening.

Avoiding Pain

Luckily, there are ways that you can avoid or lower your discomfort. Before you whiten your teeth, you should talk to your dentist. They can assess your oral health, which influences your whitening process. Then, they can tell you the best method for you. 

Furthermore, you should consider asking your dentist to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening at your dentist’s office often involves more expertise. They can reduce your chances of experiencing sensitivity. 

Dentists may also provide desensitizing products like toothpaste or gels to use before and after whitening to reduce sensitivity.

If you’re using an at-home whitening kit, consider using it less often or for shorter durations to give your teeth time to adjust. This can help avoid pain with whitening. Alternatively, you can use a toothpaste that helps reduce pain from teeth sensitivity. After teeth whitening, try to avoid extremely hot or cold foods and drinks for a few days to prevent sensitivity. 

Finally, drink plenty of water during and after teeth whitening to keep your mouth moist and reduce sensitivity.

What If It Persists?

If you have severe sensitivity, you should reach out to your dentist. Also, the sensitivity shouldn’t last more than a few days. Your dentist can examine and rule out any other issues that could cause the pain. In some cases, the pain may be a sign of another dental problem that needs attention.

A Note on Other Products

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are widely available. But, they come with a higher risk of pain than treatments with your dentist. This approach may not be right for all. If you choose to use these products, be extra cautious. You need to monitor any signs of pain.