TEETH-WHITENING IS AWESOME. It’s hands-down the simplest, quickest way to enhance your smile. But every once in a while—whether it’s due to unforeseen conditions or misuse—patients can experience sensitivity after whitening. Here at Dental Partners of Boston, we do our best to eliminate pain and discomfort for our patients. But since we can’t be with you all the time, here’s some useful information from our team:
Why Does Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Most of the time, sensitivity is a reaction to whitening agents like peroxide. Especially when you try powerful whitening without the guidance of a dental health professional, the nerves in your teeth can become inflamed from overexposure to bleach.
Sometimes, sensitivity is due to bigger issues like cavities or receding gums. If you have sensitivity that persists days after whitening, make sure to consult us to make sure that there aren’t any problems with your oral health.
A Special Note About At-Home Whitening
It has been estimated that up to 50% of patients using at-home bleaching will experience some level of sensitivity. Usually, this is because they’ve left in the trays for longer than indicated. Make sure that if you’re using our at-home whitening system, you use it according to our guidelines. There’s no need to exceed the time that we set.
The whitening agents are most effective for the amount of time we prescribe. Often, if you go longer, you’re no longer getting effective whitening—just irritation.
What To Do About Sensitive Teeth
If you’re experiencing sensitivity, there ARE some ways to solve it:
- Cut back on your use of whitening products—whether they’re over-the-counter or from our office.
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel.
- If brushing is causing your gums to be tender, soften your toothbrush with warm water before brushing.
- Remember, if the sensitivity persists after a few days, give us a call to see if there’s a bigger problem.
If you have any questions—about whitening, sensitivity, or anything else— don’t hesitate to ask! Call, request an appointment, leave a reply below, or post on our Facebook wall. We’re happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you might have.