Causes of Teeth Sensitivity
Teeth sensitivity can be an uncomfortable experience after whitening your teeth. In some cases, this is caused by the whitening product itself, but there are other causes to consider as well. From the wear and tear of daily activities to thinning enamel, there can be various causes for teeth sensitivity.
Let’s take a closer look at the various causes of teeth sensitivity and how to address it:
One of the most common causes of teeth sensitivity after whitening is enamel erosion. Enamel erosion is when the protective layer of enamel that covers the teeth begins to wear away, which can lead to a myriad of issues, including sensitivity. The wear and tear on this layer can be caused by a variety of factors, including acidic foods and drinks; teeth grinding; dental procedures like bleaching or whitening; brushing too aggressively; illness or acid reflux; overconsuming sugary foods or beverages and not brushing afterward, and even genetics.
Damage to the enamel occurs when microscopic mineral crystals (known as calcium phosphate) that form it are removed due to:
- improper brushing
- erosion from acids in food or drinks consumed
- grinding while chewing on hard foods like candy or ice
- acid reflux disease
- hard toothbrushes and highly abrasive toothpastes
Additionally, genetics have been found to play a role in enamel thickness across populations. If you may be at risk for thinner enamel due to genetics, it is important to take good care when undergoing any type of dental procedure since sensitivity may be exacerbated after such processes (e.g., teeth whitening).
Enamel weakening not only leads to increased sensitivities in the teeth but also creates soft spots prone to cavities if left unchecked. It’s essential that a qualified dentist or orthodontist should be consulted prior to initiating any type of dental treatment for advice about how best to minimize risks for these unwanted oral health conditions so as not to increase pain associated with sensitive teeth during treatments like whitening.
One of the most common causes of teeth sensitivity is tooth decay, also known as cavities. This occurs when bacteria in food and drinks mix with saliva and make acids that attack the enamel of your teeth, causing it to weaken and break down. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain in your teeth as well as lead to other dental problems such as gum disease, bad breath, and eventual tooth loss.
Tooth decay can be prevented by:
- Regular brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing once a day to help remove plaque from between your teeth.
- Visiting the dentist for regular check-ups.
Additionally avoiding sugary foods and drinks or rinsing your mouth out with water after having any acidic foods can help reduce the risk of developing a cavity.
Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, is when the tissue surrounding a tooth is pushed back, exposing the root of the tooth. This can occur due to several factors such as periodontal diseases and aggressive brushing. When your gum line begins to recede, it can cause sensitivity in your teeth since the root surfaces become exposed and more vulnerable to air and various temperatures – cold food or liquid can be unbearable with this condition.
Receding gums reduce the amount of protective enamel covering the sensitive inner layer of each tooth, called dentin. As enamel is worn away over time from regular wear-and-tear from chewing or crunching on hard foods, or during whitening procedures that work on enamel and dentin – both wear away at the same rate – it exposes the dentin lay causing hypersensitivity in your teeth.
If you suspect that you may have receding gums that are causing sensitivity in your teeth, it’s best to visit your dentist right away for a proper diagnosis. Some treatments available for gum recession include:
- Deep cleaning treatment and surgery to eliminate bacteria from periodontal pockets near affected areas in order to prevent further damage while providing relief from dental pain.
- In some cases, an artificial grafting material may be used to cover exposed roots.
Your dentist can recommend which treatment is best for your situation – whether a simple topical cream or extensive surgery – so don’t hesitate to contact them if you think you’re suffering from receding gums as soon as possible!
Prevention of Teeth Sensitivity
Experiencing sensitivity after teeth whitening can be an unpleasant sensation and can be caused by several factors. Fortunately, there are some preventative measures that can be taken to avoid developing teeth sensitivity after whitening.
In this section we will discuss the various ways to prevent teeth sensitivity following a whitening procedure:
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth is one of the most important steps in preventing teeth sensitivity after whitening. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can be too abrasive on delicate tooth enamel and gum tissue, which can lead to further sensitivity.
Consider switching to an electric toothbrush, or a manual one that has soft bristles. Make sure you brush gently and thoroughly without putting too much pressure on your teeth and gums.
You may also consider using a desensitizing toothpaste which contains ingredients such as formaldehyde, potassium nitrate, or strontium chloride that can help sooth soreness and reduce discomfort after having your teeth whitened. If you are still experiencing tooth sensitivity after using these products, consult with your dentist before trying a stronger formula or product.
Avoid acidic foods and drinks
Teeth sensitivity can happen after using teeth whitening products, but the good news is that it can be easily managed. After whitening, it’s important to avoid acidic foods and drinks. The acidity in such drinks as soda, juice, and energy drinks will contribute to teeth sensitivity after a whitening treatment. Instead, people should opt for plain water or dairy-based beverages (such as milk and yogurt) that offer some of the same benefits without the added acidity.
Additionally, avoiding citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can reduce your risk of developing further teeth sensitivity after a whitening treatment. Also try opting for more alkaline-packed fruits like strawberries and bananas instead for an extra dental health boost.
In between meals, it is highly recommended to:
- Brush with desensitizing toothpaste and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen enamel protection against the effects of acidic foods and drinks on your teeth.
- Use sugar-free chewing gum to stimulate saliva production which helps remineralize enamel that may have been weakened by the previous acidic exposure.
- Try a saliva substitute that has both fluoride and calcium phosphates – two substances known to help strengthen tooth enamel – this can be especially helpful after consuming highly acidic food or drink items as well as long periods between meals or overnight while sleeping when saliva production stops all together.
Use a desensitizing toothpaste
Use a desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne, which contains potassium salts that replace lost minerals and “plug” exposed tubules in the dentin. A desensitizing toothpaste can be used every day, after whitening, professional cleaning and other dental procedures that cause sensitivity.
The main benefit of using a desensitizing toothpaste is that it gives you fast relief from the pain caused by sensitive teeth. Within 2-4 weeks of use, you should see an improvement in your symptoms.
Treatment of Teeth Sensitivity
Teeth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, and it can be difficult to cope with the discomfort. Fortunately, there are some treatments that can help reduce the sensitivity and make teeth whitening more manageable. In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective treatments for teeth sensitivity after whitening:
- Treatment 1
- Treatment 2
- Treatment 3
- Treatment 4
- Treatment 5
Use a fluoride-based mouthwash
The use of a fluoride-based mouthwash is often recommended for individuals who experience teeth sensitivity after a bleaching or whitening procedure. Fluoride is known to help strengthen enamel and reduce the effects of acid and other damaging factors on dentin and tooth surfaces. When used in a mouthwash, it helps to form a protective barrier on the teeth. As an added benefit, fluoride also helps reduce the risk of cavities.
Additionally, it may help decrease inflammation in tender gum tissue that may occur as a result of procedures like bleaching and whitening treatments. Most dental professionals recommend that those who suffer from teeth sensitivity use a fluoride-based mouthwash twice daily in order to achieve the best results.
Avoid whitening products
To help reduce teeth sensitivity after whitening, it’s important to avoid whitening products that have high concentrations of peroxide. Consider using toothpaste that is specifically designed for sensitive teeth, like Sensodyne. These pastes contain potassium nitrate which blocks the passage of nerve impulses from the outer layer of the tooth, providing relief from pain and discomfort due to surface-level sensitivity.
Other treatments and home remedies can also help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with teeth sensitivity after whitening. The most common home-remedy is using warm salt water rinses or ice cubes applied to the affected areas; however, these methods often provide only temporary relief. If your sensitivity persists despite trying different methods, contact your dentist as they may be able to provide you with a higher-concentration fluoride treatment or prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication.
Use a desensitizing gel or strip
Using a desensitizing gel or strip is a common way to treat teeth sensitivity and discomfort caused by whitening treatment. The gel or strip contains potassium nitrate and/or fluoride, both of which help reduce the sensitivity of your teeth. These products are available both over-the-counter and from your dentist. Usually, it offers quick relief – within a few weeks for most people – but each product’s directions should be followed for best results.
When selecting an OTC desensitizer, make sure it contains either potassium nitrate or fluoride, as these ingredients are most effective in treating sensitivity related to teeth whitening treatments. Before applying the product, make sure to brush your teeth and then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any remaining plaque from the surface of the teeth. When you have removed the excess plaque from the surface of your teeth you can apply the product according to its directions (usually with a swab applicator) and rinse off thoroughly after about 5 minutes.
Always speak to your dentist before using an OTC desensitizing strip or gel, as there may be other causes for increased sensitivity that need professional attention. Additionally, there may be other products that work better for your specific case – so consulting with them will help you select the most appropriate treatment plan.
Home Remedies for Teeth Sensitivity
Teeth sensitivity after teeth whitening is a common complaint for many people. This discomfort can range from mild to severe and can last for several days after a whitening treatment. Fortunately, there are some home remedies which can help alleviate tooth sensitivity and reduce the discomfort.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some common home remedies to help ease the symptoms of teeth sensitivity:
Apply a cold compress
One of the simplest home remedies to alleviate sensitivity in teeth after whitening is to apply a cold compress. A bag of frozen peas or crushed ice, wrapped in a damp cloth can provide temporary relief as the cold helps to numbs the nerves and decreases underlying inflammation of the area.
Allow the cold compress to sit against your teeth for a few minutes, or until any pain or discomfort lessens. Ensure that you do not allow your teeth to get too cold for too long as it can lead to further issues such as tooth sensitivity and recession of tissues surrounding the tooth.
Rinse with salt water
Salt water rinses are a popular home remedy for teeth sensitivity after whitening treatments. This is because salt water can help reduce inflammation of the gums while simultaneously cleaning the mouth and removing debris. To make a salt water rinse, mix half a teaspoon of table salt with one cup of warm water. Swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out and repeating twice daily until you begin to feel better.
You may also want to use this rinse prior to whitening your teeth to avoid sensitivity after the procedure.
Use clove oil
Clove oil is a natural home remedy for teeth sensitivity as it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The eugenol from the clove oil helps to reduce inflammation of the sensitive gums and reduce toothache sensitivity.
Applying clove oil on the sensitive tooth area can help minimize any pain or discomfort you may experience after whitening your teeth. Make sure to use high-quality clove oil, diluted with a few drops of coconut oil or almond oil. Gently and slowly massage a couple of drops into your gums around the affected area until all areas are coated with droplets of the mixture. You can do this several times daily until your teeth sensitivity subsides.
Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables
Incorporating crunchy fruits and vegetables into your diet can help to reduce tooth sensitivity. When you eat crunchy produce, your teeth are naturally polished and cleaned. Eating crunchy, raw produce is a great way to help clean plaque buildup and freshen breath at the same time.
Fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, celery and cucumbers contain both fiber and liquid – two important components for keeping teeth healthy after whitening treatments. The liquid helps to rinse away bacteria while the fiber acts as a scrubber to get rid of debris on your teeth’s surface. Additionally, the fiber combined with saliva helps reduce tooth sensitivity by re-mineralizing enamel that has been weakened from bleaching agents.
To maximize the effects of this home remedy, be sure to chew your produce adequately with each bite as this will stimulate flow of saliva which helps repair any damage done to the enamel due to increased exposure to bleaching agents during whitening treatment.
When to See a Dentist
There are many ways to whiten your teeth, including at-home whitening kits, whitening toothpastes, and professional whitening treatments. While these treatments are great for whitening your teeth, they can sometimes leave you with sensitive teeth and sore gums. This is why it’s important to know when to see a dentist if you experience any symptoms after whitening procedures. Let’s dive further into when you should visit your dentist.
If home remedies do not work
If home remedies, such as using a desensitizing toothpaste, do not work to reduce teeth sensitivity after whitening, it is important to see a dentist. Dentists have special treatments and procedures available in order to ease any post-whitening discomfort. A dentist can verify the cause of the pain – it may not be from the whitening product at all, but another issue like tooth cavities or crackling enamel due to bruxism (teeth grinding) – and offer personalized solutions for dealing with the pain.
For example, the dentist may recommend using prescription fluoride gel for its superior fluoride uptake capabilities or apply fluoride varnish specifically to areas that are sensitive. They may also suggest using at-home bleaching trays as opposed to in-office treatments that require more aggressive bleaching gels. Additionally, if orthodontic treatment is needed before undergoing any type of tooth whitening procedure, this should be done by a dental professional as well. It is important to visit an expert who can diagnose and properly treat any source of sensitivity before further treatment is performed.
If teeth sensitivity persists
If you experience an ongoing sensitivity and discomfort to hot, cold, sweet, or pressure, it is important to visit your dentist for an examination. The source of the discomfort should be identified and if possible, resolved. Prominent symptoms such as severe pain can indicate a more severe issue such as radiculopathy or dentine hypersensitivity.
Treatment options such as mouth guards, fillings and other cosmetic procedures may help reduce symptoms. While the exact treatment will depend on the specific cause, most cases of teeth sensitivity following whitening will resolve on their own with time. However, it is important to monitor and communicate any changes in your teeth to your dentist as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be recommended.
If teeth sensitivity is accompanied by other symptoms
It is not uncommon to experience mild to moderate teeth sensitivity after whitening your teeth. This can range from a slight tingling sensation to pain or discomfort when eating or drinking hot drinks or foods. Typically, this sensitivity should ease off within a few days of treatment. However, if the sensitivity persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling, gum tenderness or mouth sores, it is important to book an appointment with a dentist right away.
A dentist will investigate your condition and provide the necessary treatment for relief from symptoms. They can also recommend specific toothpastes and other products that help manage tooth sensitivity. Depending on the extent of damage caused by the whitening process, you may need to abstain from certain beverages and habits that cause additional wear and tear on delicate enamel surfaces.
Having regular dental check-ups are essential in helping prevent serious oral health issues both before and after teeth whitening treatments. Your dentist should be able to advise you of whether further treatment may be necessary after an initial observation period following whitening treatments:
- Investigate your condition and provide necessary treatment for relief from symptoms.
- Recommend specific toothpastes and other products that help manage tooth sensitivity.
- Advise whether further treatment may be necessary after an initial observation period following whitening treatments.