I got my teeth cleaned 2 days ago. I know it’s good to do my whitening touch-up after they have been cleaned so I put the gel in my whitening trays and wore them overnight. I didn’t feel any pain overnight, but as the morning went on I felt this huge zinging in my teeth, like my teeth were being electrocuted! It really hurt. Also I noticed that if I drank something cold or hot or ate something sweet, the sensitivity was even worse. It’s getting a little better now but I was really concerned. Why does teeth whitening hurt so bad? – Rebekah
Rebekah – Teeth whitening can cause some sensitivity, but extreme sensitivity isn’t always felt. And for many people it doesn’t hurt at all.
The teeth-bleaching process opens pores in the dentin of your teeth and causes increased sensitivity. Dentin is the calcified tissue beneath the enamel of your teeth. The nerve in a tooth can also be temporarily irritated by the bleaching process and cause sensitivity.
After you’re finished with the bleaching process, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
You can ask your dentist for desensitizing gel, which is applied to your teeth about 30 minutes before you bleach them. If you experience extreme sensitivity, some dentists recommend taking ibuprofen before you whiten your teeth. Some patients find it helpful to brush their teeth with Sensodyne® toothpaste in the days and weeks following teeth bleaching.
Other suggestions are to reduce the amount of bleaching gel you place in the trays or wear the trays for a shorter period of time.
This post is sponsored by Lowell dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.