Teeth whitening procedures can cause some sensitivity or discomfort, but it typically does not involve significant pain. Sensitivity during or after teeth whitening is a common side effect and usually subsides within a few days. The level of discomfort can vary from person to person, and some individuals may experience more sensitivity than others. 

It’s important to note that if you have pre-existing dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, teeth whitening may exacerbate the sensitivity or cause additional discomfort. It’s always advisable to consult with a dental professional before undergoing teeth whitening treatment to ensure it is suitable for your specific dental health and to address any concerns you may have.

Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Teeth whitening procedures can cause sensitivity due to the effects of the whitening agents on the tooth structure. Here are a few reasons safe teeth whitening can lead to sensitivity –

  • Temporary exposure to dentin

Dentin is the layer beneath the tooth enamel that contains microscopic tubules leading to the nerve center of the tooth. Whitening agents, such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, penetrate the enamel and reach the dentin. This exposure can temporarily increase dentin sensitivity.

  • Dehydration of the teeth

Whitening agents have a drying effect on the teeth. They remove moisture from the enamel, leading to temporary dehydration. Dehydrated teeth can be more sensitive to temperature changes and other stimuli.

  • Irritation of the nerves

The penetration of the whitening agents into the tooth structure can cause temporary irritation to the nerve endings in the dentin. This irritation can result in heightened sensitivity.

Nevertheless, the sensitivity experienced due to lasting teeth whitening is usually temporary. If the sensitivity worsens or does not fade, consult your dentist for further evaluation and guidance. 

How to manage sensitivity after teeth whitening?

If you experience sensitivity after a teeth whitening session, here are some steps you can take to manage it –

  • Use a desensitizing gel: Your dentist may provide a desensitizing gel to apply to your teeth after the whitening treatment. Follow their instructions on how to use it effectively. These gels typically contain ingredients that help alleviate sensitivity and provide relief.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce sensitivity and discomfort. Follow the instructions and recommended dosage on the packaging, or consult your dentist for specific recommendations.
  • Avoid hot and cold foods/beverages: As with at-home whitening, sensitive teeth can react to extreme temperatures. Avoid consuming very hot or cold foods and beverages until the sensitivity subsides.
  • Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth: Switch to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and continue using it after the professional whitening treatment. These toothpaste can help reduce sensitivity and provide ongoing relief.
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash as your dentist directs. Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss regularly. Good oral hygiene practices can help keep your teeth healthy and minimize sensitivity.

Remember, every individual’s experience with sensitivity may vary, so it’s essential to communicate any concerns or discomfort you are experiencing with your dentist. They can provide personalized advice and address your specific needs effectively.

Get a Pearly White Smile with Expert Teeth Whitening Treatment-

Say goodbye to stained teeth and hello to a brighter, more confident smile with Pinnacle Dental Frisco. Our experienced dentists in Frisco for teeth whitening use the latest techniques and safe whitening agents to deliver remarkable results. Contact us today to book a consultation and get the pearly whites you have always wanted. 

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