Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

With the present day innovation and advancement, it is quite easy to whiten teeth without any difficulty. But one common problem experienced by many is of sensitive teeth after whitening. It is seen that teeth may become a bit vulnerable and eventually sensitive after whitening. It is important to know the causes of teeth sensitivity after whitening and how to get rid of it.

Usually tooth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel, which protects the tooth, is lost. Although, whitening of teeth does not rub off enamel entirely but makes the enamel thinner and then only gum recession occurs. So the protection towards the teeth turns next to nothing, the teeth become vulnerable and root becomes unprotected. When something hot or cold or highly acidic food is taken or even cold air is inhaled, it gives the teeth an uncomfortable tickling sensation. This may be associated with pain sometimes, while in some people, it may go off after some time.

Nevertheless, it is important to know the causes of sensitive teeth after whitening and the steps to be taken to get rid of it.

Sensitive Teeth after Whitening: Know its Causes & Ways to Get Rid of it

What are the Causes of Sensitive Teeth after Whitening?

Some of the common causes of sensitive teeth after whitening include


Once the teeth are bleached, the molecules of bleach seep into the teeth thus disturbing the normal blood flow and exert pressure on the tooth pulp resulting into mild pulpitis. The entire process of bleaching irritate the teeth making the teeth sensitive after whitening.

Loss of Protective Layer:

During the process of teeth whitening process, the whitening elements strip off the protein layer in order to remove and dissolve the surface stains. This process gradually opens up the pores and develops sensitivity, which is a commonest cause of sensitive teeth after whitening.

Choice of Tooth Bleaching

Tooth whitening is usually done in two ways, using the bleaching product or doting upon the non bleaching products. With the use of bleaching products the tooth often lose their natural colors and become abnormally white. Most bleaching agents are comprised of carbamide peroxide which gradually breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. While these bleaching agents remove stains and help in teeth whitening, they also remove the protective layers of teeth, resulting in sensitive teeth after whitening. With the use of non-bleaching products, only the superficial stains may be removed but may be less harmful to the teeth. Also, the OTC teeth whitening products have high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which can be more harmful to the teeth and gums and causes more teeth sensitivity. The choice of bleaching or non-bleaching agents also influences the performance and the possibility of sensitive teeth after whitening.

Ways to Get Rid of Sensitive Teeth after Whitening

It is essential to learn about the facts, regarding how to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening. Although this sensitivity is temporary, it can cause pain and discomfort. Teeth sensitivity also depends upon the quality of the whitening agent, the session of bleaching and the oral condition of the person.

Here are some ways to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening; these methods are known as dentin hypersensitivity remedial measures.

  • Making use of lower concentration of whitening agent can help to reduce the chances of sensitive teeth after whitening.
  • Decreasing the time span of bleaching, wearing lesser time of bleaching tray.
  • Increasing the span of individual bleaching treatment in order to decrease the chances of damaging tooth pulp can help get rid of teeth sensitivity after whitening
  • Avoiding the process of whitening for extended time span can help rid of sensitive teeth after whitening.
  • Using on regular basis the prescribed gel or the toothpaste to reduce sensitivity too can help to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening.
  • Making use of desensitizing treatment in dental office or a varnish applied chairside is a good option.
  • Avoid brushing teeth hard as it will only cause more damage; gentle brushing with soft bristle is always good and helpful to protect the teeth.
  • It is better to avoid extremely hot or cold food if sensitivity is there, especially the day when whitening is done such extreme temperature fluctuation should be avoided.
  • Using desensitizing agents right before and after undergoing the bleaching session can help to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening.

It is better to avoid domestic teeth whitening procedures and consulting a dentist for any concerns is the best to protect your teeth and avoid sensitive teeth.

Dental Visit to Prevent Sensitive Teeth after Whitening

It is necessary to consult the doctor before undergoing the whitening process. Any sensitivity part should be given enough concentration and the condition of the teeth can only be known after satisfactory dental evaluation. The dentist can suggest the safest whitening procedure for an individual. There is a test known as "touch and air" test which is known to determine which whitening agent is good and suitable. For any suspected problem of sensitivity, the doctor can prescribe the best remedy such as recommending desensitizing toothpaste to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening. Doctors may prescribe medicines to relieve pain in some cases, hence it is best to seek medical opinion from the expert and follow the advice.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 8, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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