Teeth whitening and sensitivity

Teeth Whitening and Sensitivity

You might consider your options if you’re thinking of whitening your teeth or having some side effects after the treatment. This is because tooth sensitivity is sometimes related to whitening treatment.

Whitening Options

Popular options for brightening your teeth;

  • Whitening toothpaste contains the fewest ingredients compared to other whitening products, which may include hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide or mild abrasives.
  • Home-use whitening kits found at grocery stores or your dental office usually contain peroxide, which lightens by getting below the tooth’s surface. Treatments like these typically come in strips, rinses, brushes or trays.
  • In-office whitening treatments applied by your dentist or mobile teeth whitening professional. These treatments contain higher strength peroxide than whitening toothpaste and home-use whitening kits, making them the fastest option.

Your Sensitive Side

Sensitivity in your teeth presents in different ways and can occur for various reasons. For example, your sensitivity could result from a whitening treatment, thin enamel, a recent dental treatment, or an underlying dental condition. In addition, tooth sensitivity may occur during and after treatments containing peroxide-based whitening agents. This will vary based on product use, concentration, formulation, dosage, and personal health history. If you’re worried about possible sensitivity, try choosing whitening products that advertise no sensitivity.

You may have sensitivity issues if you experience sharp pain with the following:

  • Cold or hot foods or beverages
  • Consuming sour or acidic items
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Air

The cause of sensitivity typically results from the whitening treatment removing microscopic amounts of minerals from your enamel, thus exposing dential tubules in your teeth known as dentin. Dentin hypersensitivity will temporarily decrease as minerals in the enamel are restored.

Variations in Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity will depend on how much whitening (peroxide) is used, for how long, and your personal health history. Some other important facts to consider:

  • Professional-grade whiteners have a higher peroxide concentration than whiteners you may purchase from the grocery store or dentist.
  • Peroxide may cause gum irritation. This is often due to bleaching agent trays that don’t fit correctly, causing peroxide to come into contact with gums.
  • Damage to tooth restorations or the enamel may be another potential side effect.

Finding Relief

Teeth and gum sensitivity is usually temporary and stops after treatment. Sensitivity may persist, however, if teeth are over treated. Here are some options to consider that may provide some relief:

  • Brush with sensitive toothpaste a week before treatment
  • Use desensitising treatment after teeth whitening
  • Take breaks between whitening treatments
  • Reduce the amount of whitening treatment used in the tray
  • Use a lower concentration of whitening agent

Getting your teeth whitened can be great for your look and confidence. Unfortunately, in some cases with some products, there can be slight discomfort with sensitivity issues; in the meantime, practice options to relieve your pain and be sure to keep your dental professional in the loop.



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