Teeth whitening is a popular and relatively inexpensive way to restore your teeth to a bright and shiny shade of white. While this procedure is considered to be relatively safe, many people do experience some form of sensitivity. Sensitivity can cause your teeth to feel painful or react adversely to temperature changes and pressure. There are many possible contributing factors to sensitivity to teeth whitening.
Bleaching solution used in teeth whitening usually makes use of peroxide. When a dentist supervises the procedure, a much stronger solution is usually used. Dentists use certain equipment and other products to cut down on sensitivity or reaction. Over-the-counter products, however, use a generic solution that may cause problems for some people.
The condition of your teeth will play a major role when using teeth whitening products. Many of the foods you eat or habits you assume throughout your lifetime can contribute to decay of the enamel. Chips, cracks or weakened enamel, dentin and gums allow for teeth whitening solutions to get inside the tooth and cause irritation.
Treating Teeth Whitening Sensitivity
In order to minimize sensitivity when using a teeth whitening procedure, there are a couple of options that you have. First, you may be able to select a different brand or product with a lower solution concentration.
Likewise, it may be possible to dilute the solution you’re currently using. The second option is to take advantage of a desensitizer. Many products are available that can help numb or minimize the pain in your teeth:
- Over-the-counter desensitizers are used as stand-alone products or may be mixed in with certain brands of teeth whitening products
- Fluoride helps reduce the size of dentinal tubes which may minimize pain
- Potassium nitrate may provide a numbing effect
- Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, may provide short-term relief
Posted in: Teeth Whitening