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Handling Sensitivity From Teeth Whitening

November 30, 2021
Posted By: Gladnick Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
Close up of patient's smile after teeth whitening in Rockville, MD

For many patients, sensitivity is a common side effect of most whitening procedures, but why does it happen, and is there anything a patient can do to reduce the sensitivity their teeth feel after a professional whitening treatment?

How Whitening Works

Tooth whitening works because whitening agents, usually a type of peroxide, pull stains from teeth by binding with the stain.

While we aren't certain why whitening causes sensitivity in teeth, the working hypothesis is that the cleaning also opens up tunnel-like pathways meant for detecting temperature change. 

Once these pathways open up, they are hyper receptive to signals, mostly change in temperature, causing sensitivity when patients breathe in or have hot or cold food or drink.

The sensation of sensitivity should gradually fade over the next few days, with teeth typically returning to their normal sensitivity levels after a few days to a week. 

What Do I Do If I Have Sensitive Teeth?

If you normally have sensitive teeth or are just someone who wants to avoid overly sensitive teeth post-whitening, here are some things that may help:

  • Several days before your whitening treatment, start brushing with an anti-sensitivity toothpaste, like Sensodyne. Continue using the toothpaste as necessary in the days following the whitening.
  • Avoid food and drink that are hot or cold for a few days after whitening.
  • Consider an at-home whitening kit from our office. The whitening agents are more diluted than an in-office treatment, and the whitening process is more gradual, helping patients avoid extreme sensitivity. 

Rockville Teeth Whitening

If you are interested in teeth whitening in Rockville, MD, look no farther than Galdnick Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for all of your teeth whitening needs. Contact us today to schedule a time to come into our office, and we can begin your journey to a healthy white smile. 

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