How to Prevent Sensitivity after Tooth Whitening

Mar 7, 2011 @ 02:46 PM — by

Teeth whitening treatment is a great way for people to improve the overall appearance of their smiles. There are a range of procedures available, from over the counter strips and tray systems, to professional home whitening, to in office professional whitening (ZOOM!), to a combination of both in office and home professional whitening systems (Deep Whitening  and Deep Whitening Max). All can create great results for the right patient- the trick is selecting the right system for the right patient to get the best results for the least amount of effort, cost and fewest complications.

The most common complication is sensitivity and can occur with any of the systems mentioned above. People have noticed symptoms during and after whitening that can include itching of the gums to dull toothache to occasional brief jolts of acute pain. Sensitivity typically doesn't last long and can be managed using the following tips from our Hartford teeth whitening expert.

Let’s first address at-home teeth whitening systems that you can buy at the store. Since you are performing all of the actions yourself without the supervision of a dentist, it is off the utmost importance that you follow the instructions to the letter. Do not use too much of the bleaching solution, and follow the recommendations with regard to the length of time for each application and the frequency of the applications. The over the counter products are usually weaker and can take much longer to begin to see results. Rushing the process can bring on unnecessary sensitivity. If sensitivity does occur use oral analgesics like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), and desensitizing toothpastes like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive. If sensitivity is still severe, discontinue the whitening and seek professional advice from your dentist.

In office professional whitening like ZOOM! is performed with barrier techniques to minimize exposure of sensitive roots and gums to the whitening solution. if the patient still experiences sensitivity the technician can apply desensitizing liquids or gels to minimize/eliminate the sensitivity. Typically our patients experience the least amount of sensitivity to this category of whitening.

With professionally supervised home whitening systems sensitivity is not uncommon, and can be minimized with the analgesics and toothpastes mentioned above. The technician may also recommend the use of relief gels to use in the whitening trays. Often times just the length of exposure time and freqeuncy can be altered to minimize sensitivity- shortening exposure time and decreasing the frequency can effectively control discomfort.

The same can be said for sensitivity associated with combinations of professionally supervised systems like Deep Whitening and Deep Whitening Max.

With all these levels of whitening it is important NOT to use a whitening toothpaste especially during the period you are actively whitening. Whitening toothpastes are very abrasive and can actually encourage sensitivity. Our office actually discourages the use of these toothpastes at any time because of the damage they can create to the surface of your teeth. Low abrasive toothpastes combined  with proper brushing technique will keep your teeth free of surface stain and looking their best!

By proper adherence to recommended protocols our office can minimize the chances of sensitivity, and if it does occur there are several things that we can do to correct it. Our office has been whitening teeth since whitening was first introduced in the late 80's, and have whitened thousands of teeth with any number of techniques that have been developed over the years, some more sensitivity issue causing than others. With these latest systems and products very few people have not been able to get whiter teeth.

Hartford cosmetic dentist Steven Balloch offers the ZOOM! teeth whitening procedure and products to our patients, along with the Kor  Deep Whitening and Deep Whitening Max protocols. Contact our practice today if you are interested in undergoing teeth whitening or any other cosmetic dentistry treatment.

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