Teeth whitening services are commonly used by patients seeking to improve the look of their teeth. It is considered to be a cosmetic procedure and can be performed at home or at a dentist’s office, though it is strongly recommended that a teeth whitening procedure only be done by a professional dentist. That’s because when patients attempt the procedure at home, they may use too much or too little gel or use whitening toothpaste or strips too often.
The one downside to this procedure, however, is that it can leave teeth feeling sensitive. The external surfaces of teeth are covered with dentinal tubes that are normally filled with fluid, but a teeth whitening procedure can disturb this fluid. As a result, the protective layer of your teeth is stripped away, causing the teeth to become more porous, temporarily exposing the sensitive areas of the teeth.
Pulpitis is another common cause of sensitivity that causes an increased blood flow to the pulp of the teeth, which can lead to both pressure and sensitivity. Luckily, this only lasts for a couple of weeks following any teeth whitening procedure.
Most patients report that sensitivity typically lasts anywhere from 24 to 40 hours following a tooth whitening procedure.
How to Cut Down on Sensitivity if You are Having your Teeth Whitened
• Use desensitizing toothpaste for at least two weeks before the procedure. However, after the procedure, don’t brush right away; brushing your teeth causes the dentin to be exposed, leading to further sensitivity. When you finally do start brushing again, be sure to do so gently using a soft bristle toothbrush; to further soften the bristles, run the brush under warm water for a few seconds before using.
• If you’re on anti-inflammatory medication, take it at least one hour before the procedure. It is also strongly recommended that you consult with your doctor about whether the medication will have any negative interactions with the chemicals your dentist will be using.
• After the procedure, avoid hot or cold foods and any fluids containing acids. After each meal, rinse with lukewarm water to reduce sensitivity; mouthwashes that contain fluoride can have this effect as well.
• If the pain persists, painkillers can cut down on the pain. Also be sure to let your dentist know if the pain is severe.
Many patients may still prefer to perform teeth whitening at home; whether it’s using strips, gels, or other products. However, Princeview Dental tells their patients that when it comes to something like teeth whitening services, it is far better to leave it up to the professionals. Contact Princeview Dental for affordable teeth whitening at our conveniently located offices on the Kingsway in Etobicoke today!