Sullivan Dental Center

Teeth Whitening and the Matter of Sensitivity

Teeth Whitening St. Francisville LAProfessional teeth whitening has been one of the leading cosmetic dental treatments since the development of a safe and effective protocol. It took hundreds of years to develop this protocol, and we are happy to have it at our fingertips today. Discoloration is one of the most common complaints that we hear from patients of all ages. To have stained teeth means to have a tarnished image, according to studies on cosmetic dentistry.

Why not revamp your image with a simple treatment that takes only one visit to your dentist? We can think of one reason why some patients feel apprehensive about in-office teeth whitening: sensitivity. If you have read up on professional teeth whitening, you may have come across at least a few reviews that say “ouch!” It’s true that some patients develop moderately uncomfortable sensitivity after they have their teeth whitened. Some patients feel no pain whatsoever. If you are one of the unlucky people who find that eating, drinking, and even breathing in and out from your mouth causes pain, it’s understandable that you’d want to know what to do about this discomfort – and fast!

What Causes Sensitivity after Teeth Whitening

In the center of each tooth is a chamber of soft tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. On the outermost layer of enamel are thousands of tiny tubules that resemble the pores in the skin. The reason teeth became dull and discolored in the first place is that microscopic debris has accumulated inside these tubules. Therefore, one of the things that happen during teeth whitening treatment is that these pores are opened so the mild bleaching agent can penetrate the enamel and destroy stain molecules.

What to do about Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth already, let us know. We want your teeth whitening treatment to be as comfortable as possible and offer suggestions for pain-management.

  • Fluoride rinse or other desensitizing treatment may be conducted before teeth whitening. This may need to take place for a week or two before your visit, so talk with your dentist early about this proactive step.

If sensitivity occurs unexpectedly after teeth whitening, improve comfort by:

  • Drinking out of a straw.
  • Let beverages reach room temperature before drinking.
  • Eat foods that are also at room temperature.
  • Breathe through your nose.
  • Maintain comfort with an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Teeth whitening has been safely performed for over two decades. Sensitivity is a minor, temporary side effect that may or may not occur. With personal dental care, we can help you enjoy a stress-free teeth whitening process. Call our St. Francisville office at 225-635-4422.

Posted in: Teeth Whitening

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