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Sensitive Subject: How Long Will Your Teeth Be Sensitive After Whitening?

Sensitive Subject: How Long Will Your Teeth Be Sensitive After Whitening?
June 1, 2023

Teeth whitening has become incredibly popular over the last few years for several reasons. First, you may want a whiter smile because of tooth discoloration. Alternatively, you may consider boosting your self-confidence.

Whitening products have been the answer for many people. However, you may experience temporary sensitivity or gingival inflammation if you have tried teeth whitening. Unfortunately, the problems are common and expected. Fortunately, there are techniques to deal with pain and sensitivity during and after teeth whitening.

Why Do Your Teeth Experience Sensitivity After Whitening?

Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are responsible for tooth sensitivity after whitening. These are common ingredients in whitening products. They function by creating a chemical reaction with the chromogens in your teeth. Chromogens are bacteria forming on your teeth to cause discoloration.

Your teeth acquire a whiter Shade when the hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with the chromogens. However, exposure to the peroxide can cause inflammation of the tooth nerve and dental pulp. Therefore you might experience temporary tooth sensitivity or pain with cold beverages or foods, sweet-and-sour foods, acidic foods, or when brushing your teeth.

The Whitening Process

The whitening process is relatively straightforward and completed by the Concord dentist in approximately 90 minutes after examining your teeth and cleaning them.

When receiving in-office professional teeth whitening in Concord, CA, the dentist protects your teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth using cheek retractors and rubber dams. After that, they apply the whitening ingredients four times on your teeth during the hour, reapplying the ingredient after every 15 minutes. At the end of one hour, they ask you to rinse your mouth and receive a fluoride treatment to prevent experiencing sensitivity and battling cavities for several months. In-office professional treatments from a dentist brighten your teeth by 3 to 8 shades in one appointment.

Store-bought whitening remedies do not offer protection to the soft tissues of your mouth and your gums and merely request you to place the whitening strips or trays on your teeth for specified times. However, the strips or trays can leak hydrogen peroxide on the soft tissues to cause sensitivity and pain. Therefore if you are using at-home whitening remedies, you must follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label, paying attention to the whitening gel you must place in the tray. In addition, the likelihood of sensitivity increases significantly if you overfill the trade with whitening ingredients.

How Long Does Teeth Sensitivity Last After Whitening?

Teeth sensitivity after whitening should subside after the whitening treatment, usually on the fourth day. However, you may have an underlying dental issue if the sensitivity continues. Some factors that may influence tooth sensitivity after whitening include decayed teeth, exposed dentin, cracks in your teeth, or defective and broken restorations.

You must include your dental care provider in your whitening journey and request a comprehensive exam of your teeth and restorations to help avoid sensitivity from other factors. If you intend to whiten your teeth at home, your dentist can help narrow down optimal products or provide dentist-dispensed whitening trays to ensure you care for your dental requirements before whitening your teeth.

Tips for Minimizing Tooth Sensitivity During and After Whitening

Depending on how you brighten your teeth, you can minimize tooth sensitivity during and after whitening. If receiving teeth whitening from your dentist, you can rest assured the dentist takes the precautions necessary to prevent sensitivity as best as possible. They will ensure your teeth are unaffected by decay or gum disease and provide protective devices to safeguard them from sensitivity. In addition, the fluoride treatment they offer at the end of the treatment also helps prevent sensitivity.

If you use OTC remedies to whiten teeth, it helps if you don’t consider brightening your teeth in one day by using excessive hydrogen peroxide because you do so without protection on your soft tissues and gums. In addition, you must delay whitening treatments at home by restricting the use of whitening trays or strips, especially if your teeth are sensitive.

You can use desensitizing toothpaste containing ingredients like potassium nitrate. The compound helps reduce tooth sensitivity from whitening and is usable twice daily before and during the whitening process.

As the demand for brighter smiles continues to grow, the use of whitening products will expand similarly. However, you must aim to experience minimum discomfort and sensitivity when whitening your teeth by including your dental care provider in the process. Discuss your teeth whitening needs with your dentist for optimal recommendations on maintaining your smile whiter and brighter.

If your teeth have discolored and need brightening, Concord Dental & Orthodontics provides safe and effective teeth whitening treatments in their dental office. Consult them today to brighten your teeth without sensitivity to enjoy a beautiful smile.

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