The Ultimate Guide to Whitening Sensitive Teeth
June 23, 2023
if your teeth are stained or discoloured, you may feel self-conscious and hide your smile no matter where you go; whether you go out with your friends, go to work or simply go on a grocery run. Now, teeth whitening could be a solution that’s caught your attention. However, you may be worried that it might aggravate and hurt your sensitive teeth.
Don’t give up hope just yet because whitening your teeth without aggravating sensitivity is possible. In this article, we’ll guide you on why your teeth may be sensitive and how you can whiten your teeth effectively and safely without aggravating tooth sensitivity.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Do you find yourself wincing after taking a sip of a hot or cold drink? Chances are you have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition that affects many people. It occurs when the outer layer of your tooth (also called the tooth enamel) gets worn down. The enamel is the layer that protects your teeth, and when it’s worn away, it leaves the dentin (the inner layer of your teeth) exposed to stimuli. When the dentin comes in direct contact with stimuli like hot or cold foods and drinks, it can trigger discomfort or a sharp pain.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Now that you have a better understanding of what tooth sensitivity is, let’s look at some of the common causes of tooth sensitivity:
- Tooth erosion from regular exposure to sugary and acidic foods and drinks
- Gum recession which leaves the tooth roots exposed
- Damage to the enamel as a result of teeth grinding and clenching
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Dental restorations. This is usually temporary, however, and will go away within a couple of days or weeks.
How to Care for Sensitive Teeth?
If you experience teeth sensitivity, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our dentist. Our dentist will assess your teeth to determine the causes of sensitivity and create a treatment plan to address it. Here are some common treatment options we may recommend if you have sensitive teeth.
- Fluoride gels to strengthen your enamel
- Sealants to fill small gaps or fissures in your teeth
- Desensitising toothpastes
- Dental fillings, crowns or bonding to treat tooth decay or cracked teeth that can result in sensitivity
- Gum graft to cover tooth roots and protect the tooth
Can I Whiten Sensitive Teeth?
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure used to brighten and whiten teeth that are stained or discoloured. While teeth whitening is a safe and effective solution, you will have to consult with our dentist first for a treatment plan if you have sensitive teeth. This is because whitening products contain agents such as peroxide, which can penetrate your enamel and aggravate sensitivity. When you come in for a consult, our dentist will be able to assess your teeth and gums and recommend the best course of action.
If your teeth are in good condition to handle the whitening process, you will be able to start the treatment right away. However, depending on the severity and causes of sensitivity, our dentist may recommend holding off whitening treatments until your tooth sensitivity is treated. If so, we will create a tailored treatment plan for you. Sometimes, we may even recommend against teeth whitening but don’t worry because our team will work with you to find an alternative solution that will help you achieve a brighter smile.
How Teeth Whitening Works?
At Warrnambool Smile Dental, we offer professional in-chair teeth whitening treatments for you. With this quick and effective treatment, you can instantly transform your smile with brighter teeth. Here’s how it works:
- We will begin the process by cleaning your teeth to remove any plaque build-up around and in between your teeth.
- Next, our dentist will take photos of your teeth and identify the natural colour of your enamel before starting the whitening process.
- To protect your teeth and gums against irritation that the bleaching gel can cause, our dentist will paint a hardening resin or liquid rubber on your gums.
- The bleaching gel containing hydrogen peroxide will then be applied to your teeth and kept for 15 to 30 minutes. We will then rinse it off and put on a new layer for another 30 minutes. We also use an intense light to activate the bleaching process as needed.
- Finally, you can rinse out the solution and your smile transformation will be complete!
Our team at Warrnambool Smile Dental will customise the whitening process based on your dental needs to help you achieve your dream smile. So, if you want to whiten your teeth, book an appointment today to discuss available options.
Tips to Manage Tooth Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening
Don’t worry if you experience tooth sensitivity after whitening. It is normal and usually short-lived. However, if you experience sensitivity for prolonged periods, we recommend scheduling a consult ASAP.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can follow to alleviate some sensitivity you experience after teeth whitening:
- Use a desensitising toothpaste that contains ingredients designed to reduce sensitivity.
- Avoid hot and cold foods and liquids after having your teeth whitened. You can also use a straw to avoid having drinks come into contact with your teeth.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth gently.
- Our dentist may recommend desensitising gels or fluoride treatments to help with your tooth sensitivity.
The good news is that you don’t have to settle for stained and discoloured teeth just because you have sensitive teeth. With the advice, guidance and tailored treatment plan of our experienced and friendly team, you can get a brighter, whiter smile safely and comfortably at our dental clinic.
Call us today to book your appointment.