Eliminate Tooth Sensitivity from Whitening Products with These Tips
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, read on to learn how to reduce discomfort and irritation after whitening your smile. Dentin hypersensitivity is common among those who frequently whiten their teeth. This condition causes heightened sensitivity in response to hot or cold beverages, eating sweets, and while brushing. Mild discomfort from whitening should be temporary and should last for no longer than 48 hours.
Why Whitening Products Increase Tooth Sensitivity
Regardless of brand or type, all whitening products contain some amount of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. The amount varies between at-home and professional treatments, but any amount can cause either temporary or long-lasting sensitivity. Irritation can occur when the peroxide penetrates the tooth enamel to the soft layer of dentin where nerves are located. Other factors, such as the concentration of peroxide, ill-fitting trays, or not using products as prescribed, can affect the degree and duration of sensitivity.
Always Discuss Whitening Solutions With Your Dentist
Before beginning any whitening treatment, it’s essential to address any underlying dental issues that cause tooth sensitivity, such as gum disease or cavities. Most dental health problems are treatable, so beginning a tooth whitening treatment once these issues have been resolved is a simple solution.
Talk to your dentist and ask about tooth whitening for sensitive teeth. If your dentist recommends delaying whitening treatments until other issues are resolved, follow their instructions. Failing to do so can cause further damage to your teeth or increase sensitivity.
Professional Whitening Treatments
Professional whitening treatments are performed by a dentist and are typically the best option for those suffering from sensitive teeth. While professional whitening is the most expensive option, it allows a dentist to monitor the process and ensure your teeth remain safe throughout treatment. Professional whitening also utilizes gels and desensitizers to help reduce sensitivity while whitening your teeth. In-office whitening is the most effective at removing stains and is long-lasting when compared to at-home whitening options.
At-Home Whitening Kits
At-home teeth whitening options are the most cost-effective way to brighten your smile. Many of these options can easily irritate those already suffering from sensitive teeth and gums, primarily when not used as directed. At-home whitening methods can vary, and consumers have several different options easily found in drugstores. Whitening toothpaste, gels, strips, rinses, and over-the-counter whitening trays are all effective. When selecting the right method for your teeth, look for a product that is specially formulated to work with sensitive teeth if it has been an issue for you in the past.
Before Treatment: Preventing Whitening Sensitivity
Anyone about to undergo a professional whitening treatment is advised to build up a resistance to sensitivity by changing to a desensitizing toothpaste or gel. Doing so at least one week before the start of whitening treatments can prevent the sensation of temporary heightened sensitivity. Making this switch will not entirely prevent irritation, but it will reduce potential discomfort.
At-home whitening treatments are a safe way to reduce sensitivity. Dosage and treatment time can be adjusted by the patient in response to the onset of heightened sensitivity, minimizing discomfort while achieving results. When the teeth start to become sensitive, alter your treatment accordingly. Shortening the duration by 5-10 minutes can drastically reduce sensitivity.
After Treatment: Things To Avoid
After your treatment, tooth sensitivity will be at its highest. Use a prescribed toothpaste or gel specifically designed to cope with sensitivity. In most cases, this sensitivity will only last around 48 hours. After this time frame, you can switch back to your regular toothpaste.
Managing Pain and Discomfort After Whitening
Patients suffering from hypersensitivity, or patients who feel that the discomfort is extending beyond the expected 48 hours after treatment, should talk with their dentist. Whitening is possible for almost anyone, and Jacksonville Gentle Dentistry is here to help you find a solution to whitening with sensitive teeth. Call us today to discuss your options (904) 731-1919.