Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment to improve the appearance of the teeth. It is generally safe and effective but there are some people who develop dental sensitivity after teeth whitening. Powerful bleaching agents are used to whiten teeth and these may cause teeth to become sensitive to heat or cold.
Tooth sensitivity or discomfort is usually triggered by hot, cold, sour or sweet foods and drinks. The pain is sharp and sudden, reaching deep into the nerves inside the teeth. It can be caused by any tooth whitening method like ultrasonic scaler including brushing too hard.
What Makes Teeth Sensitive?
Inside each tooth are millions of tiny dentinal tubes extending from the nerve inside the tooth to the surface. These microscopic tubes contain fluid. Dental sensitivity is caused by the fluid’s movement inside the tubes. Normally, minerals in the saliva plug up the tubes’ opening and prevent fluid movement. If these plugs are dissolved by bleaching gels or acids the fluid will move and cause sensitivity.
The action of bleach on the tooth enamel and dentin is the major cause of teeth whitening sensitivity with dental air compressor. However, minor dental problems such as chips or tooth decay as well as consumption of carbonated drinks and acidic foods can weaken tooth enamel, making it easier for acids to find their way inside the tooth and dissolve the plugs at the end of the dentinal tubes.
These gels are available in a wide variety of strengths to accommodate any user’s needs. They can whiten in record time with little to no discomfort but should be looked at very carefully. If the percentage of de-sensitizer is not high enough as compare to the whitening agent, sensitivity could occur.
Teeth whitening sensitivity can also be reduced by the use of certain tooth pastes designed for this purpose. These differ from the off-the-shelf ones in that they are specific for the reduction of sensitivity on teeth. This means their active ingredient is a de-sensitizer rather than a fluoride as is found in standard toothpaste or other dental instruments.
No matter which method is chosen, the reduction of sensitivity is key and using both in conjunction with each other is not a bad idea. This will give the user double protection against any sensitivity issues that may arise. Take the time to do some research either online or talk to a local dental professional about the many varieties of these products that are available.