Teeth’s whitening has become one of the most common procedures performed in modern dentistry. However, as with any medical procedure there can be some side effects. Most are minor but the improper use of over the counter whitening products like peroxide gels can cause sensitivity, pain and even chemical burns. Whitening gels that use peroxide to bleach the enamel of your teeth can also open up pores in the structure of your teeth, exposing the inner dentin layer to your foods and drink. Dentin is made up of tiny tubes called dentinal tubules, and peroxide causes a chemical reaction that opens up these tubes. This is what exposes the root nerve of your tooth to external temperature influences. Even cold winter air can cause painful sensitivity if you suffer from this side effect. The pain will pass as the tooth nerve and dentin warm or cool back towards body temperature, but the discomfort can be a great annoyance until then. If you know you already suffer from sensitive teeth, use a good restorative toothpaste to improve the structure of your teeth and reduce sensitivity before beginning an at home whitening treatment.
Consider using a whitening gel with a reduced concentration of peroxide to try to avoid the sensitivity side effect altogether, but be aware this will require more sessions to whiten your teeth. Once you’ve gotten the whitening results you wanted to achieve and you discontinue use of the bleaching gel, the increased sensitivity will diminish and eventually cease. If the increased dental sensitivity doesn’t fade away quickly enough for you, simply begin using restorative toothpaste that contains fluoride and NovaMin daily to lessen your tooth sensitivity. You’ll be able to once again eat and drink what you like without experiencing discomfort. Just keep in mind that you should avoid heavily pigmented foods to keep from staining your teeth once again, and follow up on the whitening gel treatment with good whitening toothpaste to keep your new, improved smile looking great. Buy a whitening gel from a well-reviewed and reputable company. Always follow the directions exactly as they are written, and do not overuses the whitening gel. Remember that adding more gel and overfilling the tray will not get you whiter teeth, but will expose your gums to potential chemical burns and irritation! Consider the option of using a low concentration peroxide gel and working your way up to the concentration needed to get the shade of white teeth you desire. Remember that even whitening at a dental office can result in painful or annoying side effects like increased sensitivity. This is just a byproduct of the peroxide that is used by all conventional whitening methods to bleach your teeth.