Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity after Whitening
The best solution for most stains and discoloration on teeth is to whiten them. There are numerous choices available, both at-home and in-office, that can be performed by your dentist. The issue is that many patients experience tooth sensitivity after using conventional carbamide peroxide for external tooth bleaching.
There are a variety of treatment options, including gels, bleaching strips, whitening toothpaste, and even mouth rinses. According to the ADA, there are two types of tooth whitening: bleaching treatments and non-bleaching products. The teeth may be whitened using a substance that changes the natural color of the teeth. Alternatively, non-bleaching products contain ingredients that only work to remove surface stain and does not penetrate further.
Sensitivity can happen during and after using peroxide-based bleaching agents. Having sensitive teeth means having enhanced responses to hot and cold drinks, aggressive toothbrushing, or sweet foods. It comes in with a short, sharp pain. Usually, this sensation happens during the initial stages of bleaching when the hydrogen peroxide soaks through the enamel.
Products like whitening toothpaste usually cause less sensitivity because it only treats the teeth’s surface. Everyone is different, so a person can experience a different result with the same product. Usually, gels that are used in bleaching trays, as well as some over-the-counter bleaching products, have a greater potential for causing sensitivity after whitening. A person’s individual tooth anatomy, such as the thickness of the enamel, can also play a role in how sensitive teeth become during bleaching.
If you experience sensitivity, there are a few things that can be done to help lessen the symptoms.
1. Use a desensitizing toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpastes contain compounds that help to block the pain signals from reaching the brain. If you experience sensitivity during bleaching, consider using a desensitizing toothpaste to minimize discomfort.
2. Try over-the-counter gels: Some people prefer to whiten their teeth at home rather than in a dentist’s office. If you opt for at-home bleaching, ask your dentist about using a gel with a lower concentration of peroxide. You may also want to try an over-the-counter desensitizing gel or paste to help lessen sensitivity during and after bleaching.
3. Consider in-office treatments: In-office bleaching is generally more effective than at-home whitening, but it also tends to cause greater sensitivity. If you are experiencing a lot of tooth sensitivity during bleaching, talk to your dentist about other treatment options, like in-office veneers or professional take-home kits.
If you experience tooth sensitivity after bleaching your teeth, it’s important to talk with your dentist about possible solutions. You may want to try a lower bleach concentration or use other methods, such as softening the enamel of the teeth before bleaching. Request an appointment today.