Patients of Galleria Dental Aesthetics in McLean are provided with the care they need to keep their smile looking beautiful and feeling healthy. One of the common complaints that we deal with on a routine basis is discoloration. Enamel becomes stained for a number of reasons, and may naturally be a less-than-brilliant shade of white. Regardless of the reasons for dulling and discoloration, these problems lead to a bigger one, diminished confidence. However, we understand that there are some people who put off getting the professional teeth whitening treatment they need because they are concerned about sensitivity. So let’s talk about this . . .
Chances are, if you know anything about teeth whitening treatments, either do-it-yourself methods or professional application, you have heard that the process can involve some sensitivity. This may be especially pronounced if teeth whitening is conducted in the dental office (it’s not called power bleaching for nothing!). If your teeth are already on the touchy side, you may feel apprehensive about obtaining cosmetic dental care.
Why Teeth Whitening Treatment may Cause Sensitivity
There are a few reasons why tooth sensitivity may occur as a side effect to the whitening process. One is that slight dehydration occurs simply because the mild peroxide solution draws water out of enamel. The bleaching solution also works beneath the surface of enamel, not on the surface, like many commercial products. When peroxide is absorbed into the pores in enamel, the natural response is an increase of blood flow to the teeth being treated. The more blood that moves through teeth, the greater internal pressure in them. This pressure affects the nerves, which become more responsive to external stimuli; hence, sensitivity.
What to do to Improve the Process
We won’t mince words here, tooth sensitivity can be uncomfortable for some people. Let’s look at ways that this side effect can be reduced:
- Switch from a whitening toothpaste to a sensitive teeth toothpaste during your whitening treatment. You may also consider using a product that remineralizes enamel; higher mineral content means stronger enamel means less sensitivity.
- Rinse the mouth with lukewarm water after each whitening session, if you are whitening at home. Do not brush for about an hour after whitening, though. Abrading enamel after treatment could lead to erosion and, consequently, more sensitivity.
Are you craving a more dazzling smile? Call 703-448-1020 to discuss your options for in-office whitening or our professional home whitening treatment.