• If you are feeling self-conscious about your smile due to staining or discoloration, consider getting a professional tooth whitening treatment. Dr. Rigby can perform this procedure in his office and produce much better results than 0ver-the-counter whitening kits. Many people wonder, though, if whitening can cause tooth sensitivity.

    What is Tooth Sensitivity?

    Those who suffer from tooth sensitivity describe it as tenderness and pain in and around the teeth, especially when consuming foods or beverages of varying temperatures. After professional teeth whitening, some patients complain of tooth sensitivity, but this is also true for over-the-counter whiteners that patients do themselves. 

    Tooth Whitening Procedure and Tooth Sensitivity

    The process of getting a professional tooth whitening procedure is both quick and painless. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth, then he or she will apply a dental bleaching agent to your teeth. Next, we will expose the bleaching agent to a particular type of light that activates the bleaching agent’s properties. The procedure should not take more than an hour.

    There are a couple of causes of tooth sensitivity after professional whitening. The first is the possibility of the bleaching agents coming into contact with the gums or soft tissues surrounding the teeth. The second known cause is dentinal tubules: tiny holes in the tooth’s dentin layer, connected to the tooth’s inner dental pulp. In this instance, the hot and cold sensitivity is most likely to occur as the bleaching agents expose the tubules, resulting in the hypersensitivity of the teeth.

    Techniques for Minimizing Tooth Sensitivity

    When it comes to preventing tooth sensitivity, the responsibility falls on both the dentist and the patient. During the process, the dentist can be sure that the bleaching agents only come into contact with the stained areas of the affected teeth. We can also apply a post-treatment tooth desensitizer, which can decrease subsequent tooth sensitivity. For a few days after the procedure, avoid hot and cold drinks and foods to mitigate any tooth sensitivity. If tooth sensitivity is severe or persists for several days, contact us for advice.

    In a world where we document everything online, it seems even more important to have a clean, bright smile. While certain foods and habits can lead to tooth staining and discoloration, whitening can restore the brightness of your smile. Practicing proper dental hygiene with f professional tooth whitening procedures can protect both your oral health and your winning smile.