Teeth Whitening Tips for Sensitive Teeth

Teeth whitening is a good option for those who want to whiten up their smile, but is it safe for individuals with tooth sensitivity?

Many tooth whitening products involve a bleaching agents, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. But, you can whiten up your smile without bleaching. A professional cleaning and the abrasive action of brushing can help eliminate surface stains. You can also help with discoloration with whitening toothpaste with polishing or chemical agents.

Bleaching With Tooth Sensitivity

If your teeth are already sensitive, it means your dentin is exposed and even thinking about brushing with abrasive chemical agents or using high-concentration peroxide gels likely sounds unpleasant. Gum irritation and tooth sensitivity are also potential side effects of bleaching products containing peroxide.

Your teeth and gums can become sensitive before or after using peroxide-based bleaching agents. With sensitive teeth, your teeth could have a heightened response to things like:

  • Aggressive toothbrushing
  • Cold and hot drinks
  • Sweet foods

This response can feel like short, sharp pain. And, the sensation often occurs during the early bleaching treatment stages when the hydrogen peroxide is soaking through your enamel, exposing the dentin nerves beneath it.

Products like dentifrices (whitening toothpastes) could cause less sensitivity, unless they contain a peroxide bleaching agent, because they treat your tooth’s surface only. Different people can experience different results when they use the same products, depending on their teeth. Typically, bleaching gel trays, along with some over-the-counter bleaching products, have more potential after whitening to cause sensitive teeth.

Before using any product to whiten your teeth, especially if you have sensitive teeth, you should first consult with your dentist. They’ll advise you on which tooth whitening products are ideal for you.

Benefits of Choosing a Professional to Whiten Your Teeth

The benefits of having your teeth professionally whitened over OTC teeth whitening kits include:

  1. Tailored treatment to your teeth: OTC teeth whitening kits are made to be a one-size-fits-all product. You’ll likely have difficulty fitting the strips on your teeth correctly, meaning pieces of the strips could become stuck to your gums during the process and cause sensitivity. With OTC kits, some of your teeth could become more whiter than others.
  2. No waiting: Professional strength teeth bleaching formulas provide quicker results than OTC whitening kits. With average products, you might not see results for weeks, maybe even months, but with professional whitening, you could see outstanding results your very first visit to the dentist’s office.
  3. Less sensitivity: The dentist can keep the chemicals from coming in contact with your gums while they administer the whitening treatment. They can also show you how to properly use the professional product if you decide you’d like to use it at home. Your gums won’t need to endure the sensitivity brought on from frequent contact with whitening agents.
  4. Stunning results: The dentist’s professional teeth whitening system will give you stunning white teeth that still remain natural looking. When properly whitening your teeth, your new, bright smile will last a long time.

You can safely tackle discoloration yourself, as long as you see your dentist before you choose any whitening product. And, your dentist should be an integral part of your tooth whitening decisions, particularly with sensitive teeth. However, to play it safe and experience cleaner, whiter and natural-looking teeth, opt for a professional teeth whitening treatment.

Here at Park & Rogers Dentistry, we offer both in-office teeth whitening and take-home whitening trays. Contact Parke & Rogers Dentistry to schedule your teeth whitening appointment.