male with sensitive teeth from teeth whitening

Why Do My Teeth Become Sensitive After Whitening?

Perhaps the most common complaint that happens after someone gets a teeth whitening from their local Oakville dentist is that for a few days after the treatment their teeth are a little more sensitive than usual. This sensitivity can be particularly noticeable when eating hot or cold food or drinking similarly hot or cold beverages.

At Monastery Dental, a branch of the Oakville Dental Offices of Dr. Ray Liu, we’re here to help our patients feel as comfortable about their oral health as possible, and that includes with cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening. Unfortunately, some percentage of our patients will always have a degree of sensitivity for a few days after their visit to our Oakville office for whitening—everyone reacts a little differently to it. Luckily, your dentist is here to let you know why this happens and what you can do about it.

Why Does Sensitivity Happen After Teeth Whitening?

The three main parts of the human tooth are the enamel (the hard, white, outer shell), the dentin (a yellowish material just under the enamel), and the pulp (the middle part that contains most of the nerves and blood vessels that root a tooth into your jaw and circulate blood). Whitening procedures aim to remove stains that have occurred on the outermost layer of your tooth, the enamel, which cannot feel pain.

Of course, the peroxides and other chemicals that are in the kinds of whitening treatments you can only get at your dentist’s are very powerful. Even when your dentist uses them entirely correctly, some of the chemicals may penetrate to the dentin of your tooth and cause some minor pain or discomfort. If you have thinner enamel than usual (from smoking or grinding your teeth, for example) you may experience more discomfort than others.

What Can I Do to Keep Sensitivity at a Minimum?

If you experience any tooth sensitivity either before or after a teeth whitening, be sure to tell your Oakville dentist. He or she will be able to tell you why your teeth are more sensitive than usual and what you can do about it. Common steps that dentists recommend include:

  • Switching to a new kind of toothpaste or using a new toothbrush that are specially designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Simply avoiding hot or cold beverages or food for a few days after your whitening.
  • Switching to a different kind product for your next whitening.

If you are interested in making your smile a little brighter, contact us at Monastery Dental. Our dentists are specialists in cosmetic dentistry techniques such as teeth whitening, children’s dentistry, emergency dentistry and Invisalign products. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you or to make an appointment to visit our Oakville offices.

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