Will Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Patients may have discolored teeth for any number of reasons, turning to cosmetic dentistry to improve teeth yellowed by age, stained by excessive consumption of certain foods and drinks or by taking some medications.
To enhance the smile’s appearance, patients in such cases may opt for a treatment like Zoom! teeth whitening, which uses a bleaching gel on the teeth. That bleaching gel, which is activated by special lasers, goes beneath the surface of the tooth to eradicate stains.
The benefits of teeth whitening are dramatic, but there can be some side effects. Before undergoing treatment, many patients ask the dentist about resulting problems like tooth sensitivity.
Some patients may experience minimal tooth sensitivity after undergoing Zoom! teeth whitening or some other whitening treatment, especially if they undergo repeated treatments in a short time frame. If the underlying dentin, which has tiny openings leading directly to the tooth’s nerve, is exposed, you may notice that the teeth are more tender or have an increased reaction to changes in temperature.
Patients who are prone to sensitivity to begin with may also be at increased risk for sensitivity induced by tooth whitening treatments.
If you do notice sensitivity after getting your teeth whitened, it’s likely to be temporary. To limit problems, you may want to avoid drinking or eating very cold or very hot beverages or food for a few days following your treatment.
Because the Zoom teeth whitening treatment is completed in such a short period of time, typically in around an hour, patients who choose this option may actually be less susceptible to sensitivity than with an at-home treatment that requires gel-filled trays to be worn for hours at a time. Increased exposure to the bleaching gel may increase the risk of sensitivity.
Explore your options when it comes to teeth whitening, and be prepared to address any tooth sensitivity that may arise. Your dentist may also recommend specially-formulated toothpaste designed to address this problem too.
Contact our skilled team at Balcones Family Dental to learn if teeth whitening can improve your smile.