How Long Does Teeth Sensitivity Last After Professional Whitening?

Nov 30, 2023 | Blog

A teeth whitening treatment is supposed to make your smile even more radiant. You should be able to see your pearly whites shine! But on rare occasions, you could end up with a case of teeth sensitivity after whitening.

People often report deep pain in their teeth after trying at-home whitening strips. But is that a normal side effect, or should you be worried? Keep reading this blog to learn why this happens and how you can fight off the sensitivity.

What Causes Teeth Sensitivity After Whitening?

Teeth whitening is an intense dental procedure where hydrogen peroxide is used to chemically enhance the natural shade of your teeth. Due to its abrasive nature, dentists are very particular about the placement and application of the whitening solution.

If the whitening gel accidentally gets on the gums or sits longer than necessary on your teeth, it could lead to irritation and sensitivity. Moreover, it’s also important to consider how you whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are easy to use and far more accessible, but they contain strong bleaching agents that might not suit everyone. On the other hand, a professional teeth whitening procedure is customized and tailored according to the patient’s oral health. The dentist takes the time to create a solution that matches the patient’s preferences and highlights their smile as naturally as possible.

How Long Does Sensitivity Last After Teeth Whitening?

Although teeth sensitivity is fairly common after a whitening treatment, it usually does not last more than 2 to 5 days. Ultimately, it depends on your oral health and how well you care for your teeth and gums. However, if the sensitivity is too much, causing you to flinch every time you eat or drink something, then you might need to take special precautions to curb the pain. Whether it’s switching your regular toothpaste for a tooth-sensitivity toothpaste or altering your diet, you will definitely notice a difference. By the fifth day, most sensitivity and discomfort will have gone away, which means you can resume your diet and habits as normal.

Ways to Stop Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

If you’re prone to tooth sensitivity, then chances are a professional whitening treatment will heighten the effects. But no matter what is causing the discomfort, you can get rid of the intense pain by following the tips mentioned below.

  1. Apply a Desensitizing Gel
    Talk to your dentist and ask which desensitizing gel or varnish they use to protect your teeth. Applying the solution to your teeth and letting it sit for some time can significantly lift the discomfort.
  2. Use a Teeth Sensitive Toothpaste
    While brushing with your regular toothpaste is good enough to combat sensitivity, a toothpaste for sensitive teeth can make a huge difference. It will give your dental enamel the support it needs to stand against other triggers.
  3. Avoid Using Any More Whitening Products
    If you regularly use teeth-whitening products, it might be better to hold off for a while. Give your teeth and gums time to recover from the sensitivity.
  4. Use a Soft Bristled Toothbrush
    A soft, bristle toothbrush glides against the teeth’s surface and doesn’t irritate the enamel. However, once your toothbrush gets old, the bristles clamp up and harden, which might scratch the enamel.
  5. Do Not Eat Anything too Hot or Cold
    Extreme temperatures trigger sensitivity. After a teeth whitening procedure, make sure to stick to lukewarm or room-temperature foods and drinks. Avoid things that might be too hot or too cold.

In A Nutshell

To summarize, teeth sensitivity after whitening is normal and to be expected. The effects often go away by the second or the fifth day. Nevertheless, if your teeth continue to feel sensitive a week after the whitening procedure, you might want to get them looked at by your dentist. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Esteban Garza or Dr. Amanda L. Garza, contact Champions Dental at (281) 866-0442.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 


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