When we have a bright, dazzling smile, we just tend to feel better about our appearance. In addition to boosting our own self-esteem, our smile brightens others’ days as well. For millions of people, teeth whitening is a great solution to bring new life back into the facial appearance. This treatment is most often a painless process. In some cases, however, teeth whitening can cause a bit of sensitivity. When treating patients in our Scarborough, North York, and Pickering offices, we discuss the potential for sensitivity and solutions to this problem.
Why Teeth Whitening Treatment May Cause Sensitivity
There are two potential reasons for the development of sensitivity after whitening. The outer shell of enamel is porous. This is one of the reasons that stains occur in the first place. To break up stains, bleach molecules must enter pores. The absorption of the peroxide solution alone causes blood flow to increase in the area where tooth pulp lies. Greater blood flow means an increase in pressure, which can enhance the reaction to stimuli in the form of sensitivity. Whitening also breaks down the layer of protein that protects enamel so that pores may be penetrated. As a result of open, unprotected pores, teeth may feel more sensitive for a short time.
We want to make your smile-enhancing treatment as comfortable and efficient as possible. If teeth whitening causes sensitivity, or if your teeth are already sensitive, you may be apprehensive to start or continue the treatment. Our dental team offers a number of solutions to help you achieve your desired outcome without sacrificing comfort or peace of mind.
- While whitening teeth, either at home or through in-office treatment, avoid highly acidic foods and beverages, such as soda or vinegar. Acid erodes enamel and increases the potential for sensitivity.
- Rinse your mouth, but don’t brush teeth after your whitening treatment. Rinsing will help to balance the pH of the mouth. Decreasing acidity improves comfort. Depending on your situation, you may also consider using a pH balancing oral rinse or alkaline water to rinse the mouth.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions for whitening and call our office if you experience uncomfortable sensitivity.
Teeth whitening is one of the best cosmetic treatments to help you look younger and more vibrant. Call Esquire Dental Centres to schedule your consultation.