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Sensitive Teeth and Whitening

A bright and white smile can boost your confidence and leave a lasting impression. Teeth whitening procedures are popular for getting that radiant smile. However, some may have tooth sensitivity as a side effect of teeth whitening treatments. Luckily, there are ways to reduce or prevent tooth sensitivity. This can help you enjoy a dazzling smile without the pain.

Sensitive Teeth and Whitening

Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, becomes compromised. This exposes the underlying dentin and nerve endings. When dentin is exposed, it can lead to more sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic things. Teeth whitening procedures can cause or worsen tooth sensitivity for many reasons.

Temporary Pore Opening

Most teeth whitening treatments often involve the use of bleaching agents. These agents penetrate the enamel and break down stains, revealing whiter teeth. During this process, the pores of the enamel temporarily open. This makes the teeth more susceptible to tooth sensitivity.

Dehydration of Tooth Enamel

Bleaching agents in teeth whitening can also dehydrate the tooth enamel. This can lead to temporary moisture loss. Dehydrated enamel becomes more porous. This can contribute to tooth sensitivity.


If you are worried about sensitivity, there are ways you can prevent it.

Consult Your Dentist

Before having any procedure, it is vital to consult with your dentist. They can evaluate your oral health and determine the best whitening method for you. A dentist will also consider any pre-existing tooth sensitivity issues and suggest preventive measures.

Gradual Whitening Approach

If you are prone to tooth sensitivity, you can choose a gradual whitening approach. This can help reduce your risk. This involves using milder whitening products. Or you can extend the treatment period to allow your teeth to adjust gradually. It may take longer, but you won’t have sensitive teeth.

Desensitizing Toothpaste

Using desensitizing toothpaste before and after teeth whitening can help reduce sensitivity. These toothpaste products contain ingredients that help reduce sensitivity and strengthen the enamel. Adding this to your routine can help avoid feeling pain while you whiten. 

Avoid Extreme Temps and Acidic Foods

During and after teeth whitening, you should avoid extremely hot or cold beverages and foods. Also, acidic foods and drinks can lead to tooth sensitivity. Instead, opt for lukewarm foods and drinks. You can also choose non-acidic options to lower discomfort.

Whitening Trays

If you opt for a whitening kit for home use, consider using custom-fit whitening trays. These trays are made for your teeth. They ensure a more precise fit. It also reduces the chances of the gel touching your gums. This can help minimize gum irritation and sensitivity.

With Your Dentist

If you use whitening products with your dentist, it can reduce the risk of sensitive teeth. They can tailor the treatment to your specific needs and watch the progress. Also, they can stop if any issues arise. Your dentist can help you get the smile you want without much pain.