Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?

Teeth Whitening in Crystal Lake and HuntleyThere is no getting around the fact that teeth whitening is the single most sought-after cosmetic dentistry procedure in the world today. Whiter teeth are perceived to indicate certain traits about a person, including those which make us attracted to someone – health, happiness, success, and even wealth. Of course, these things are not a guarantee, but this doesn’t stop our desire for bright, white, and aesthetically-pleasing teeth.

It surprises many people to learn that teeth are not naturally white. Matter of fact, the color of the dentin, which is the softer, middle layer of the tooth determines the natural color of our teeth. As we get older, the dentin of our teeth darkens, which is one of the reasons our teeth also seem to become darker as we age. Nevertheless, many things can affect the color of the enamel, such as nicotine, tannins, and damage to it caused by brushing too hard. All of these can cause teeth to become discolored and patchy and less than attractive. Fortunately, teeth whitening can reverse these problems and enable patients to enjoy a brighter, whiter smile again.

Why choose professional teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a relatively simple process that involves bleaching your smile using select chemicals. There are lots of different products that contain low doses of bleach and that, with continued use, can provide a small and temporary improvement in the appearance of your teeth. However, in-office whitening carried out by your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Chris Pottorff, can deliver results that are much more consistent, successful, and longer-lasting. Dr. Pottorff uses a very high-grade bleaching agent that is far stronger and more effective than products you can buy in stores and on shopping channels. During the treatment, he will apply that the bleaching agent evenly with minimal contact with your gums. In turn, this will limit gum irritation and soreness from being exposed to these chemicals. Afterward, our team will properly remove all traces of the whitening agent that is left behind.

Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?

Most people have experienced sensitive teeth at some point during their lifetime. Tooth sensitivity feels like a sharp, shooting pain that occurs when you eat something particularly hot, cold, or sweet. It is a fairly common occurrence and tends to resolve itself somewhat quickly. Some patients have experienced a degree of sensitivity after the procedure, prompting a discussion about a possible link between tooth sensitivity and teeth whitening.

It is impossible to say whether or not you will experience sensitive teeth after your whitening procedure. That said, it is more common in patients who have had whitening using high concentrations of bleach, particularly those containing hydrogen peroxide. It is also more common in patients who have thin or weak tooth enamel, or who have damage to their teeth. For this reason, restoring any damaged teeth is typically insisted on before whitening can commence.

What can I do if I have sensitive teeth after whitening?

If you experience sensitive teeth after your whitening procedure, you will be relieved to know that the problem will likely resolve itself within a week or two. However, in the meantime, there are a few things that you can do to make your teeth more comfortable. Including:

  • Brushing gently with a soft-bristled brush to help prevent damage to the enamel that could worsen the sensitivity
  • Try to avoid foods or drinks that are particularly hot, cold, or sweet for at least the first few weeks.
  • Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relief to reduce any inflammation.

If sensitivity persists a few weeks after your whitening procedure, call our office to schedule an appointment for a check-up.

If you are in the Crystal Lake or Huntley area and would like more information about teeth whitening, call our office today! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Algonquin dental office if you are ready to schedule your consultation. Our dental team is ready and waiting to brighten your smile! Call 847-854-1200 today!

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