A Guide to Bleaching Sensitive Teeth

Dentist Blog

Tooth whitening is one of the most common procedures that people ask for throughout the country, and there's nothing wrong with using a dentist-recommended product to bring your teeth back to perfect pearly white. That said, there are one or two issues that can arise as a result of whitening, and one of the most troubling can be excessive sensitivity.

Sensitive teeth are often caused by a lack of surface enamel, though there are other issues that can be to blame. In any case, some whitening products can cause that sensitivity to increase; this doesn't mean that damage is being done, but it does mean that people can suffer from sharp pain throughout treatment.

So what can you do about it?

Bleaching Vs. Whitening

Firstly, it's best to understand exactly why whitening procedures can cause sensitivity, and the first thing to know is that it isn't actually 'whitening' procedures that are to blame. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, it is bleaching that causes sensitivity.

Tooth whitening services technically refers to the process of restoring colour by removing current stains, while bleaching means whitening beyond the current natural colour. However, whitening sounds better than bleaching, so even dentists routinely refer to bleaching procedures as 'whitening.'

The Root Cause

This is an important distinction to make for people with sensitive teeth since bleaching is what normally causes excess sensitivity. This is because water is drained from the tooth during bleaching, which then causes sensitivity to spike. It's well worth looking into tooth whitening procedures instead of using bleaching trays, gels, or strips, if you suffer from sensitive teeth.

Bleaching with Sensitive Teeth

Of course, some people will still want to have their teeth bleached to achieve that movie-star appearance, even if it does involve some extra sensitivity. Luckily enough, there are a few steps that you can take to decrease the sensitivity.

Firstly, make sure you speak the matter over with your dentist. Mention that your teeth can become quite sensitive — they should be able to prescribe a less powerful bleaching agent or recommend a different timetable for you to follow with your at-home whitening trays. You should also start using a desensitising toothpaste, brushing with a soft brush to avoid any discomfort. Your dentist may even be able to prescribe a special toothpaste that counteracts the dehydration process.

It will also be best to increase the amount of time between each use of bleaching trays. Cutting down on coffee, red wine and other common staining agents can be a good way to ensure that you don't need your teeth bleached as frequently.


7 March 2017

Dental Checkups: Preparing for Your Checkup

Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!