How to Reduce Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

By William Stofer on June 22, 2019

Advanced laser teeth whitening treatmentEach year, countless people come to our Warsaw, IN dental center asking about teeth whitening to brighten smiles and remove stains. A single teeth whitening session here at Dental Solutions can brighten a smile by several shades. There are some temporary side effects however. One of these side effects is tooth sensitivity.

Dr. William B. Stofer would like to cover some of the basics of tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening. He’ll then offer a few tips on how to overcome this brief bout of tooth sensitivity at home.

Why Tooth Sensitivity Occurs After Teeth Whitening

To understand tooth sensitivity, it’s important to consider how teeth whitening treatment works. A bleaching agent is applied to the surface of a tooth. This bleaching solution whitens the actual tooth structure rather than lifting the stain per se.

As the whitening solution penetrates the layers of tooth structure, they seep beneath the enamel layer of the tooth to the dentin layer. Dentin is porous, and when teeth whitening is performed, the bleaching agent tends to trigger increased sensitivity from the dentinal tubules.

How Long Does the Tooth Sensitivity Last?

Usually tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening treatment only lasts for a few days. It will be most pronounced in the first day or so, with noticeable improvements each day. By the end of a week, tooth sensitivity should no longer be a major concern.

While tooth sensitivity is only temporary, there are ways that it can be managed, both by our team here in the office and at home by the patient.

Using a Tooth Desensitizer After Treatment

After a teeth whining procedure at our Warsaw practice, it’s common for us to place a tooth desensitizer on your treated teeth. This desensitizer reduces the sensitivity you experience on that first day, when it will typically be the worst. This is one advantage to undergoing in-office teeth whitening rather than relying on over-the-counter teeth whitening products.

Adjusting Your Diet After Teeth Whitening

One way to reduce bouts of tooth sensitivity after teeth whining is to adjust your diet for a few days. Be sure to each soft foods or smoothies. Avoid crunchy, crispy, or tough foods. The pressure needed to bite and chew these kinds of foods can lead to discomfort. Ease back into harder foods when the tooth sensitivity fades.

Avoiding Hot/Cold Temperature Foods and Beverages

In addition to avoiding hard foods, you should also avoid foods and beverages that are hot or cold in temperature. These temperature extremes are bound to cause issues with tooth sensitivity. Go with lukewarm foods and drinks instead to ensure your teeth are not sore.

Using a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Regular oral hygiene after teeth whitening is important, though it can be uncomfortable due to tooth sensitivity. To help reduce discomfort, use a toothpaste designed for people with sensitive teeth. There are many types of toothpaste that will help reduce bouts of acute sensitivity, and they will work just fine after teeth whitening as well.

What to Do If the Sensitivity Persists

If your teeth are still sensitive without improvement a few days after your bleaching procedure, be sure to speak with someone at our Warsaw practice as soon as possible. We will look into the matter and figure out how to best address the problem.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening

For more information about teeth whitening treatment and how we can help you have a bright and white smile, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice. The team at Dental Solutions can be reached by phone at (574) 269-1199.

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