How To Reduce Sensitivity After A Tooth Whitening Treatment

28 January 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles


If you have stained teeth, then the brown and yellow discoloration can be removed quite easily with the completion of a professional tooth whitening. Your cosmetic dentist will use a bleaching gel product that contains carbamide peroxide. As the solution works to remove both surface and deep-seated stains across the teeth, the whitening gel breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea. When this happens, the whitening will be completed and you will have noticeably brighter teeth. However, your teeth may be quite sensitive after the treatment is over. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can reduce the sensitivity.

Stay Away From Whitening Pastes

After a tooth whitening procedure, you may want to make sure that your teeth are as bright and white for as long as possible. This may mean that you continue using your whitening toothpaste at home after the treatment. However, this is a mistake. Dental whitening products are placed into two different categories that include bleaching and non-bleaching products. Bleaching products use gels and other solutions to force debris to release from the small cracks and openings along the dental enamel. Non-bleaching products remove only surface stains by scraping debris from the outer surface of the enamel. Basically, non-bleaching products, like whitening toothpastes, contain abrasive agents that work away at yellow and brown stains with the assistance of your toothbrush. If you use the toothpaste after a bleaching treatment though, then the abrasives have no stains to release. The agents instead scrape against the dental enamel and tooth sensitivity will continue for some time.

Instead of using a whitening toothpaste, opt for a paste made for sensitive teeth instead. Sensitive toothpastes contain either numbing agents or substances that block or clog the small tubes in the dentin that send pain and temperature messages to the nerves of the tooth. Potassium nitrate is a common numbing material and strontium chloride is one that blocks the dentinal tubules. Choose the toothpaste that you think is right for you and consider using either an electronic toothbrush or a soft bristled brush to clean your teeth. This will help to reduce pressure. Also, use a mouthwash for sensitive teeth as well. These rinses contain some of the same desensitizing materials as the toothpastes.

Ask For A Varnish 

If you know that your teeth ache when you eat hot or cold foods or if you have had sensitivity after a previously completed dental whitening treatment, then you should ask your dentist to apply a varnish to the teeth immediately after the whitening. There are two different types of varnish that can be offered. A fluoride covering is one option. The covering will contain a highly concentrated fluoride solution mixed with alcohol and resin. The covering is placed on the teeth where it forms a film. The fluoride then slowly releases to help encourage the remineralization of the dental enamel. The enamel then becomes stronger to reduce sensitivity.

Your cosmetic dentist can also place a desensitizing varnish over the teeth. The strontium-based solution is placed over the teeth to create a film that blocks temperature and pressure stimuli from coming into direct contact with the dentinal tubules. The material also seals the tubes to reduce strong sensations. Both types of varnishes can help to reduce your discomfort after a dental whitening, but a fluoride varnish may be optimal if you have thin enamel since it will help to encourage the health of your dental enamel.

If you plan on receiving a dental whitening from your cosmetic dental professional soon, then you may be concerned about tooth sensitivity afterwards. To reduce these concerns, make sure to avoid using whitening toothpastes and ask for a varnish immediately after the whitening is completed. For more information, contact a dentist like Samuel D Knight, DDS.