Teeth whitening treatments allow you to embrace a brighter, more radiant smile in a few easy steps. While these treatments are straightforward, they can have a common yet uncomfortable side effect: Tooth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity can range anywhere from mild discomfort to sharp, intense pain. In this post, we’ll explore why this sensitivity occurs after whitening, and what steps you can take, both at home and professionally, to address and mitigate it.
Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity After Whitening
The extent of tooth sensitivity, or pain you feel, after whitening depends on a few factors. These can also differ from one person to the next. In general, there are two main reasons for tooth sensitivity as a result of whitening:
- Enamel Erosion: Your enamel is the hard, protective layer on the outside of your teeth. When this layer erodes, dentin is exposed, which is a softer layer filled with nerve endings. Since dentin is more sensitive than enamel, whitening agents may irritate this layer more easily.
- Gum Irritation: Irritated gums can be caused by a buildup of gingivitis or due to poor oral health. When whitening agents come into contact with your gums, they can become further agitated, extending pain to the surrounding area and potentially resulting in tooth sensitivity.
Home Remedies For Tooth Sensitivity After Whitening
There are several home remedies available that can provide tooth sensitivity relief after whitening. Here are some notable options:
- Apply Desensitizing Toothpaste: This alternative to your everyday toothpaste works to block the nerve pathways in your dentin to reduce overall sensitivity.
- Avoid Hot and Cold Food/Drinks: Extreme temperatures in the foods and drinks you consume can cause significant pain for sensitive teeth. Steer clear of frozen treats or hot coffees following whitening to avoid discomfort.
- Use a Soft-bristled Toothbrush: These brushes offer a gentle clean for both your teeth and gums. Using this type of toothbrush reduces the risk of enamel erosion and gum irritation, both of which contribute to tooth sensitivity.
Professional Treatments For Tooth Sensitivity After Whitening
Home remedies may not always be enough to reduce tooth sensitivity pain completely. If these methods aren’t working for you, a professional option might be able to help.
- Fluoride Treatments: After a whitening procedure, your tooth enamel may become temporarily weakened. Regular fluoride treatments are known to strengthen your enamel, which can reduce sensitivity.
- Regular Dental Cleanings: Dental cleanings can help reduce gingivitis and plaque buildup around teeth that may be affecting your gums. With regular cleanings, you can avoid gum irritation that may result in tooth sensitivity.
Prevention Tips For Tooth Sensitivity After Whitening
Considering cosmetic dentistry treatment and want to avoid tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening? Here are some preventative measures that can be taken to prevent this issue from happening:
- Avoid Acids: Prolonged consumption of acidic foods and drinks will wear down your enamel over time. Minimizing acidic items in your diet will help keep your enamel strong, and prevent sensitivity pain after whitening.
- Use Desensitizing Gel: After a whitening session, desensitizing gel can help block your dentin tubules and nerve endings, resulting in less discomfort following treatment.
- Space Out Treatments: In some cases, the use of whitening agents can be harsh on the teeth, and leave your enamel weak and porous. Try spacing out your whitening treatments will give your teeth time to adjust accordingly.
Whitening Treatments at Yazdani Family Dentistry
Professional whitening treatments take all aspects of your oral health into account. They carefully consider tooth sensitivity, and can help mitigate this issue before it becomes a problem. At Yazdani Family Dentistry, we can tailor treatments to your specific needs, and answer any questions you might have, including how long tooth sensitivity lasts after teeth whitening. With our comprehensive care, it can be a thing of the past! Contact us today for more information on our services.