How to Avoid Teeth Sensitivity After Whitening

person with white teeth smiling

Each smile is unique, but there are still some things about your pearly whites that you may want to change. For example, stained teeth can make your smile look dull and may negatively affect your confidence. If this rings true for you, teeth whitening may be what you need to give it more aesthetic appeal. As useful as this treatment is for improving the look of your smile, it can cause sensitivity if it’s done incorrectly. Read on to learn about some common causes of teeth sensitivity and how it can be prevented.

Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

Hydrogen peroxide, a common ingredient in teeth whitening treatments, causes slight demineralization. The removal of these minerals causes your teeth to be more porous than usual and exposes the middle layer of the tooth, which is called dentin. This results in a temporary increase in sensitivity, which will go away as the minerals are restored. The effects will vary depending on the product concentration, dosage, formulation, and your health history.

Additionally, since bleaching trays from store-bought kits aren’t customized, they may not fit properly. This can cause the whitening gel to spill out onto your gums, which may result in irritation. Things like cool air, brushing and flossing after whitening, and consuming things that are cold, acidic, sour, or sweet can also cause short bursts of discomfort due to exposed dentin, gum recession, decay, and other issues. Cavities and gum disease also cause sensitivity since peroxide further irritate already sensitive tissues.

How to Prevent Teeth Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is usually temporary and will probably stop after you complete your whitening treatment. Professional whitening treatments are also much less likely to result cause teeth sensitivity. If the discomfort persists, speak with your dentist so they can get to the bottom of what’s causing it. There are also a few things that you can do to prevent discomfort, including:

  • Reduce – Put less tooth whitener in your trays or use a lower concentration to lessen sensitivity.
  • Wait – Take a break or give yourself more time between whitening treatments. This will allow any irritation or discomfort you’re experiencing to subside.
  • Avoid – Don’t consume extremely hot or cold foods or drinks, as these can cause additional irritation. Things that are sweet, acidic, or sour should also be avoided.
  • Use the right toothpaste – Desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce discomfort by blocking the pain signals that travel between the surface of the tooth and the nerves inside of it.

With this information in mind, it should be easier to avoid teeth sensitivity while whitening your smile. Make sure to speak with your dentist about their teeth bleaching services if you’re interested in gaining a gorgeous grin you’ll be proud to show off!

About the Practice

If you’re interested in gaining a brighter, more beautiful smile, you’ve come to the right place. Led by Dr. Renu Michelsen, Dr. Kiet Minh Tran, and Dr. Surat Attaphitaya, Michelsen Dental offers in-office teeth bleaching services that come with free take-home whitening for life. This way, you can keep your smile looking its best for years to come. Do you want more information about teeth whitening or are you interested in setting up an appointment with Michelsen Dental? If so, visit’s their website or call their office at (714) 538-1178 to get started.