Want Whiter Teeth but Worried about Sensitivity? Here’s What You Need to Know!
- Posted on: Apr 30 2018
Teeth whitening procedures are performed just about every day in dental offices across the country. There is something special about having a radiant smile. If you have noticed that your teeth are dull and yellow, you may understand exactly what we mean. Teeth that are bright and shiny make a bold statement. They improve confidence and enable us to present ourselves as vibrant, motivated, and healthy. While professional whitening can put an end to discoloration, many people hesitate to obtain treatment due to their concern regarding sensitivity.
Sensitivity and Tooth Stains: How They Go Together
The reason that tooth enamel can stain is also the reason why teeth may become sensitive during a whitening protocol. It all comes down to anatomy. Like the skin, teeth have pores that extend to the outermost layer of enamel. Where there are pores, there is an opportunity for debris to settle in hidden places. When this happens on our teeth, we lose the lovely white we’d like to see.
In order to whiten the smile, it is necessary to dislodge all the debris within the pores of enamel. The bleaching agents that are used to accomplish this are mild, but they can still cause the nerve endings in teeth to sit up and take notice. The good news is that the dehydration and pore opening that occur during teeth whitening are temporary. This means that sensitivity is, too.
Teeth Whitening can be Comfortable
It is important to state that sensitivity is not a given during teeth whitening treatment. Many people are able to have their teeth whitened in the office or use a home whitening kit with no adverse reaction whatsoever. However, because we know that sensitivity can happen, we like to prepare our patients with strategies that may make their course of treatment more comfortable. These include:
- Consume foods and beverages at more moderate temperatures rather than hot or cold. This is gentler on nerve endings.
- When undergoing teeth whitening treatment, use a sensitive-teeth toothpaste.
- If necessary, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen to maintain comfort.
- Drink through a straw.
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Posted in: Teeth Whitening