Does Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Temporary tooth sensitivity can be a side effect of teeth whitening treatments, but the type of treatment that you choose can influence your experience with that tooth sensitivity.

You’ve undoubtedly seen the over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments at your local pharmacy or retail store. Those options are not as individualized, so they may not hit all of the surfaces of your teeth. Additionally, if you are pre-disposed to having sensitive teeth, these over-the-counter treatments may exacerbate that issue.

As an alternative, you can choose to get teeth-whitening treatments in the dental office, and in these cases, the office can make recommendations to address tooth sensitivity if it develops. This is one of the many advantages when tooth whitening is monitored by a professional.

Professional teeth whitening can be performed in the dental office and these treatments often give patients visible results in as little as an hour. A special light is used in conjunction with bleaching gel and results are seen immediately.

The best option is normally to use custom fitted trays to wear at home at your convenience for short periods of time The trays fit your mouth (unlike the strips or trays included in over-the-counter products), so they offer more thorough results. This method does take a bit longer than in-office whitening, but it also produces the most even and thorough change to the shade of the teeth.

Even if your initial teeth whitening treatment takes place in the dental office, you can still do periodic touch-ups and maintenance at home with the custom-fitted trays.

When you work with a professional dental team to whiten your teeth rather than try to accomplish the feat on your own with over-the-counter treatments, you tend to get more noticeable and consistent results. Additionally, dentists can provide patients with stronger bleaching agents.

If you do experience any tooth sensitivity during your whitening treatment, talk to a member of our experienced dental staff for tips on managing the symptoms. If you already have sensitive teeth prior to whitening, there are preventive steps that you can take to limit any additional sensitivity.

With over 25 years’ experience as a Dallas prosthodontist, Dr. Seal serves residents in Highland Park, University Park, and the neighboring communities. To learn more about your whitening options, contact the office of Dr. Greg Seal at 214.361.0883 and schedule your professional consultation today.