Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

If you’re considering teeth whitening in Sarasota, you may be wondering if it will make your teeth sensitive, and you might have some other questions about the process. In this blog from Sarasota Bay Dental, we’ll answer the most common questions we get from patients who are interested in teeth whitening.

Will Teeth Whitening Make My Teeth Sensitive?

Most people who have their teeth whitened will experience some minor sensitivity for a few days after their treatment. This is normal, and usually begins to fade quite quickly. 

At Sarasota Bay Dental, Dr. Miller uses the latest whiteners with anti sensitivity additives to ensure your comfort during the whitening process and reduce post-whitening sensitivity as much as possible. 

Why Are Teeth Sensitive After Whitening?

The exact cause of teeth sensitivity after whitening is not known, but most dental professionals suspect it has to do with “dentinal microtubules.” 

These are small structures in the teeth that connect the nerve pulp inside your tooth to the outer enamel. The outer layers of your teeth don’t have nerves, so these little tubes are what let you “feel” what you’re chewing and biting. 

When you get teeth whitening, the peroxides used to bleach your teeth also weaken your outer enamel slightly. This is thought to expose the dentinal microtubules, which leads to much more sensitive teeth.

But as long as you keep brushing with fluoride toothpaste after treatment, the fluoride will attract minerals back to your enamel and strengthen it, covering up these microtubules and eliminating excessive sensitivity. 

How Can I Deal With Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening?

If your teeth are sensitive after whitening, there are 3 basic steps we recommend you follow. 

  1. Maintain good oral hygiene – As mentioned, brushing with fluoride helps strengthen your teeth, and may help reduce the intensity and length of post-whitening sensitivity. So make sure you keep brushing at least twice a day for two minutes.
  2. Consider anti sensitivity toothpaste – Toothpaste like Sensodyne has special ingredients that help with tooth sensitivity. If you’re experiencing a lot of sensitivity, switching to this type of toothpaste for a few weeks may help.
  3. Stay away from very hot/cold foods and beverages – For a few days after your whitening treatment, avoid boiling hot coffee, ice water, and other extremely cold or hot foods and beverages. These tend to worsen feelings of sensitivity and discomfort. 

Can I Get Teeth Whitening If I Have Sensitive Teeth? 

Yes. However, you should discuss your condition with Dr. Robert Miller before you begin your treatment. He may adjust the schedule and intensity of your take-home whitening treatment, or use a lower-strength whitener during your in-office whitening treatment. This will help reduce further sensitivity and keep you comfortable as you whiten your teeth at Sarasota Bay Dental.

Contact Sarasota Bay Dental For Teeth Whitening Today! 

As an experienced cosmetic dentist in Sarasota, Dr. Miller can help you explore all of your options for restoring your smile and your appearance, including teeth whitening. To learn more and get started, just contact us online or give us a call at (941) 200-3723.