How to Reduce Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

We all want whiter teeth and an efficient and safe way to achieve that is with professional teeth whitening. Teeth whitening can be performed in the dental chair, with take-home dental trays, or you can use over-the-counter whitening strips. There are also other products on the market such as whitening toothpaste. 

However, these whitening treatments can come with some side effects such as gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. To find out more about why this happens and what precautions you can take to avoid it, read on in this blog from Parkside Dental.

Types of Teeth Whitening

The most effective and safest form of teeth whitening takes place in cooperation with your dentist. You can be certain that you won’t be placing harsh amounts of chemicals into your mouth and they will take care to only apply the whitening treatment for an appropriate amount of time.

It is best to steer away from drugstore teeth whitening strips unless they have the ADA seal of approval, such as Crest whitening strips. This means they have been vetted by the American Dental Association, and have been declared to be safe and effective. 

In-office teeth whitening is the most intense and effective, delivering the fastest results. The whitening may be completed in just one dental appointment unless you have severe discoloration and would like to lighten your teeth by many shades. 

It is typically possible to lighten your teeth by up to 10 shades in the dentist’s chair. Both in-office and take-home whitening trays provided by the dentist use some variation of peroxide bleaching agents to whiten the teeth.

Causes of Sensitivity From Teeth Whitening

The peroxide chemicals in the whitening treatments remove microscopic amounts of dentin from the teeth and cause demineralization. Essentially, this strips your teeth of nutrients and increases the porosity of your teeth by exposing the dentinal tubules. 

The dentinal tubules lead to the nerve endings in the teeth, which is where you feel the sensation. These nerves are hyper-sensitive to exposure to air, hot and cold foods, and biting down onto certain foods because of demineralization.

Touch and Air Sensitivity Test

Before getting a whitening treatment done, you can ask your dentist to perform something called a touch and air test which tests for tooth sensitivity. This can help you to prepare for the treatment and anticipate what level of sensitivity you can expect and take steps to reduce this. 

If you get a positive result from the touch and air test, this means you’re at an increased risk for tooth sensitivity and your dentist will likely recommend you use some desensitizing gel and toothpaste for sensitive teeth before getting your teeth whitening.

How to Relieve Sensitivity

In some cases, you may test negative for the touch and air test but after receiving the whitening treatment, you still suffer from symptoms of tooth sensitivity and have not taken any measures beforehand to reduce this. 

If this happens, you should seek advice from your dentist but some habits that can help include reducing how long you wear the whitening trays, reducing the frequency of whitening, using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and using a desensitizing gel. If you get your teeth whitening in the dental chair, your dentist can apply a desensitizing varnish after the treatment.

Professional Teeth Whitening at Parkside Dental

Interested in whitening treatments that last for up to three years? At Parkside Dental, we offer in-office whitening and take-home whitening trays for your every need and convenience. Whiten your teeth fast and drastically in-office or achieve a similar result gradually from the comfort of your own home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jason Larsen in Murphy, TX.

Upgrade your smile today!

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