How to Reduce Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

There are different methods of whitening your teeth that can be performed in the dental office or at home. The three main types of teeth whitening are in-office teeth whitening, take-home kits from your dentist, and whitening toothpaste or strips. These whitening methods can cause some tooth and gum sensitivity after treatment.

Whitening toothpaste and strips which you can buy at the drugstore can contain various ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, but it generally contains much fewer ingredients compared to more professional teeth whitening procedures.

Take-home whitening kits are not as tailor-made as in-office whitening, but they are still significantly effective. The main ingredient is usually peroxide, which effectively lightens the appearance of your tooth enamel after wearing a tray in your mouth for the specified amount of time.

In-office teeth whitening treatments from our Rothschild, WI dental office are the most effective at lightening the appearance of your teeth. In one session, the shade of your teeth can lighten by up to 10 shades in one hour. Your dentist will create custom-made whitening trays which will be designed specifically for your needs. Sourcing your teeth whitening kit from your dentist will ensure that the levels of peroxide are safe.

Why Teeth Whitening Causes Tooth Sensitivity

There are different possibilities for why your teeth could be experiencing sensitivity after getting your teeth whitened. but there are two common causes. The first possibility is that a small amount of mineral was removed from your enamel during the treatment which left the dentin in your teeth exposed.

Whitening strips peel off a layer of this protein layer as their whitening mechanism but the sensitivity is temporary and will fade once the minerals in your enamel have been restored. The second possibility is that the teeth whitening treatment caused mild pulpitis.

Increased pressure on your tooth's pulp can cause sensitivity to any sort of stimuli and may last for up to 2 weeks. Other potential causes include having recent dental work done and high concentrations of bleaching agents.

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

The best way to reduce tooth sensitivity is to follow the instructions on the product or from your dentist. Failing to follow directions could result in leaving the product on for too long or neglecting aftercare which could be causing the sensitivity. Other ways to prevent tooth sensitivity include:

  • Using a lower whitening concentration
  • Brushing your teeth before getting teeth whitened
  • Using a desensitizing gel before whitening
  • Post-whitening rinse your mouth with water or a pH-restoring mouthwash
  • Using a calcium-based desensitizing paste
  • Pause whitening treatments until the sensitivity subsides
  • Increase waiting time in between whitening treatments

How to Reduce Sensitivity After Whitening

Some of these strategies made help reduce the feeling of sensitivity and discomfort after whitening your teeth:

  • Eat a less acidic diet
  • Take ibuprofen before your teeth whitening
  • Don’t use teeth whitening trays longer than specified
  • For mild discoloration, use milder teeth whitening strips
  • Brush teeth with warm water and a soft-bristle brush
  • Apply toothpaste for sensitive teeth into trays after whitening and leave on for 20 minutes
  • Drink through a straw

Want A Whiter, Brighter Smile? Get Your Teeth Whitened at Skutak Dental

Teeth stains and discoloration can be embarrassing and detract from a beautiful smile. At Skutak Dental, we offer in-office teeth whitening as well as take-home whitening kits in Rothschild and Wausau. If you’re dreaming of a whiter smile, then contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lisa M. Skutak and find out if in-office whitening or take-home whitening trays will work for you.

Ready to schedule your appointment?

Call Now (715) 355-4433