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Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?

There is no getting around the fact that teeth whitening is the single most sought-after cosmetic dentistry procedure in the world today. This is because whiter teeth are perceived to indicate certain traits about a person, including those which make us attracted to someone – health, happiness, success and even wealth. Of course, none of these things are guaranteed, but this doesn’t stop us coveting bright, white and aesthetically-pleasing teeth for ourselves.

It surprises many people to learn that teeth aren’t naturally white. In fact, the natural color of our teeth is determined largely by the color of the dentin, which is the softer, middle layer of the tooth. This is because the enamel is actually translucent. As we get older, the dentin of our teeth darkens, which is one of the reasons that our teeth also seem to become darker as we age. Nevertheless, there are many things that can affect the color of the enamel, such as nicotine, tannins and damage to it caused by brushing too hard. All of these can cause teeth to become discolored and patchy and less than attractive. Fortunately, teeth whitening can reverse these problems and enable patients to enjoy a brighter, whiter smile again.

Why choose professional teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a fairly simple process that involves bleaching your smile using special chemicals. There are lots of different products that contain low doses of bleach and that, with continued use, can provide a small and temporary improvement in the appearance of your teeth. However, in-office whitening, carried out by your cosmetic dentist in the comfort of their practice, can delivery results that are much more consistent, successful and longer-lasting. This is primarily because professionals are cleared to use very high-grade bleaching agents that are far stronger and more effective than those products you can buy in stores and on shopping channels. Your dentist can also ensure that the application of the bleaching agent is even, there is minimal contact with your gums (which can become irritated and sore if exposed to these chemicals) and that all traces are properly removed at the end of your treatment.

Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?

Most people have experienced sensitive teeth at some point during their lifetime. This usually feels like a sharp, shooting pain that occurs when you eat something particularly hot, cold or sweet. It is a fairly common occurrence and tends to resolve itself fairly quickly. However, there has been a lot of discussion about the link between tooth sensitivity and teeth whitening. This is because some patients have experienced a degree of sensitivity after the procedure.

It is impossible to say whether or not you will experience sensitive teeth after your whitening procedure. That said, it is more common in patients who have had whitening using high concentrations of bleach, particularly those containing hydrogen peroxide. It is also more common in patients who have thin or weak tooth enamel, or who have damage to their teeth. For this reason, restoring any damaged teeth is normally insisted on before whitening can commence.

What can I do if I have sensitive teeth after whitening?

If you experience sensitive teeth after your whitening procedure, you will be relieved to know that the problem will likely resolve itself within a week or two. However, in the meantime there are a few things that you can do to make your teeth more comfortable. This includes:

  • Brushing gently using a soft-bristled brush. This will help to prevent damage to the enamel that could worsen your sensitivity.

  • Try to avoid foods or drinks that are particularly hot, cold or sweet for at least the first few weeks.

  • Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relief to reduce any inflammation.

If your teeth are still extremely sensitive a few weeks after your procedure, arrange an appointment with your dentist to check that there isn’t an underlying cause for your discomfort.

If you would like more information about teeth whitening, or if are ready to schedule your consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our offices. Our dental team isready and waiting to brighten your smile! Call 847-316-0093 today! 

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“We believe providing our patients with a better experience is the best way to ensure they have healthy, attractive smiles that last a lifetime. We go above and beyond to make sure our patients are comfortable, even at the most basic level. We understand going to the dentist can be an uncomfortable experience but with our office, it doesn’t have to be. So when you visit us you will see what sets our office apart from other dentists and implant specialists. From routine dental care to perfect natural looking implants and cosmetic dentistry, we promise you will be impressed. Schedule your visit today!”