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Will Teeth Whitening Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

teeth whitening carrolltonTeeth whitening is a simple, straightforward procedure that produces dramatic and immediate results. It is extremely safe and has very few side effects, although some patients do experience increased sensitivity after whitening treatment.

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

As a general rule, teeth whitening has few to no side effects. This is particularly true for in-office whitening performed by a cosmetic dentist. When the dentist prepares you for treatment, she uses a special gel to protect your lips and a plastic appliance to protect your tongue. This greatly reduces the risk of irritation to the soft oral tissues due to contact with the bleaching agent. This side effect is more common in over-the-counter whitening treatments or take-home treatments, in which it is more likely that your lips and tongue will come in contact with the whitener.

One fairly common side effect of whitening is increased tooth sensitivity. This is usually not extreme, and in most cases fades after a few days or weeks. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help alleviate this sensitivity until it goes away.

Choosing Teeth Whitening

If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look due to discoloration or staining, talk to your cosmetic dentist about whitening. This type of treatment is appropriate for almost everyone, with some exceptions, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing women
  • Patients under 18

If the discoloration on your teeth is due to staining agents and affects only the outer surfaces, whitening is likely to be very effective. However, if your teeth are discolored due to exposure to fluoride or antibiotics, or because the teeth have been injured, whitening won’t help. In these cases, you should consult with your dentist regarding the best option. For intrinsic staining, porcelain veneers are a good choice. For injured teeth, you might need restorations, a crown, or even a root canal treatment to restore your tooth so it will continue to be usable.

If you’re ready to receive a brighter smile, call us at Bliss Dental and schedule an appointment with our specialist, Dr. Sheth.