Cosmetic Dentist Fremont Dr. Brendan Selway and Dr. Frank Cortese

Sensitivity after Tooth Whitening

If you have stains on your teeth or discoloration, one of the best options to consider is teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening with a dentist is much more effective than the products that you can get at the local store. In just one professional teeth whitening treatment, your smile can be brightened by several whole shades. This means that the yellowing caused by cigarettes, coffee, tea, red wine, and cola will be greatly minimized. Many people visit Fremont cosmetic dentistDr. Cortese and Dr. Selway to get advanced whitening and to enhance the overall beauty of their smile.

But…

There’s Always a Catch: Tooth Sensitivity

After undergoing teeth whitening treatment, patients sometimes complain of tooth sensitivity and pain. This goes for both professional whitening as well as over-the-counter teeth whitening. Let’s look at what causes tooth sensitivity to occur and what can be done to reduce or eliminate it.

The Teeth Whitening Procedure

It may be helpful to just briefly cover the basics of the professional teeth whitening procedure first. During Fremont teeth whitening, your teeth will first be thoroughly cleaned. Once this is done, a dental bleaching agent will be applied to your teeth. This bleaching agent will then be exposed to a special light that will activate the special properties of the bleaching agent. The overall procedure shouldn’t take longer than an hour. Of course, you experience at-home whitening kits will vary.

What causes tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening?

One cause of tooth sensitivity may be the bleaching agent getting on the gums and other soft tissues near a tooth.

Another cause of tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening are the dentinal tubules. Dentinal tubules are little holes in the dentin layer of the tooth that are linked to the dental pulp within the tooth. This explain how teeth are sensitive to heat and cold. The whitening agents can cause the tubules to become completely exposed (this is a temporary condition, by the way), making teeth hypersensitive.

What We Can Do to Decrease Tooth Sensitivity

There are plenty of things that the team at our Fremont family and cosmetic dentistry practice will do to ensure your experience is as positive as possible. For one, Dr. Cortese and Dr. Selway will take great care to ensure that the bleaching agent will only affect the stained area of the tooth. In addition, we can apply a tooth desensitizer to the teeth after a whitening treatment to reduce any possible tooth sensitivity.

What You Can Do to Decrease Tooth Sensitivity

After getting a teeth whitening treatment, be sure to avoid foods that are hot or cold for a day or two. Doing so will ensure that you are not susceptible to any undue tooth sensitivity. It’s also recommended that you brush your teeth gently and that you rinse with lukewarm water.

If you are using an at-home kit, be extra careful and attentive about where the bleaching agent winds up. Also, do not overdo an at-home treatment. This can make you teeth sensitive. If you follow the instructions and still notice sensitivity, reduce the amount of whitening agent or the treatment time.

To learn more about teeth whitening and your many other options for a great smile, contact our Fremont cosmetic dentistry office today.