Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity
Teeth whitening is the process of using a chemical agent to improve the color and aesthetics of the teeth. It is a popular cosmetic procedure since it is relatively affordable and results in an enhanced smile. However, there is an adverse effects of teeth whitening – tooth sensitivity.
What Causes Sensitivity?
The two primary reasons why tooth sensitivity occurs after whitening are:
- Chemical Exposure – The whitening agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide commonly used in whitening products can irritate the teeth and cause inflammation. This can lead to the formation of micro-cracks in the enamel and dentin, resulting in sensitivity.
- Dehydration – When the teeth are exposed to the whitening agent, they tend to lose moisture and become dehydrated. This results in a decrease in temperature and pressure sensitivity and causes the teeth to become sensitive to hot, cold, sweet and acidic foods and drinks.
Is there a Way to Reduce Sensitivity?
Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to reduce sensitivity after whitening:
- Use a sodium fluoride-based toothpaste. This helps to reduce the amount of inflammatory chemicals released by the teeth, making them less sensitive.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks. These include citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, sports drinks and carbonated beverages, as they can further aggravate the sensitivity.
- Use desensitizing toothpastes. These contain compounds such as strontium chloride or potassium nitrate that help to reduce the sensitivity of the teeth.
- Take over-the-counter medications. These contain anti-inflammatory agents that can help to reduce the sensitivity of the teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. It can be uncomfortable and can make it difficult to eat and drink. Fortunately, there are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the sensitivity and help the teeth return to their normal state.
1. What is the cause of teeth whitening sensitivity?
Teeth whitening sensitivity can occur as a result of the bleaching ingredients used in the whitening process, causing tenderness and a heightened sensitivity to hot and cold foods or beverages. It can also occur when the enamel that protects the teeth becomes thinner due to the whitening process.
2. What symptoms can be associated with teeth whitening sensitivity?
Signs and symptoms of teeth whitening sensitivity may include:
-Tooth pain or discomfort
-Gum sensitivity and/or burning
-Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and/or sweet foods and drinks
-Increased tooth sensitivity to pressure
-Tingling sensation in the teeth
-Redness, inflammation and/or dryness of the gums
-General uneasiness and/or mild discomfort in the mouth
4. Does sensitivity caused by teeth whitening diminish over time?
Yes, sensitivity caused by teeth whitening typically diminishes over time. However, it is important to note that some people may experience more_lasting effects. It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of teeth whitening with your dentist before starting any whitening regimen.