Teeth Whitening Sensitive Teeth?

i am concerned that teeth whitening is too harsh for my gums and teeth.  I have very sensitive teeth.  cold and hot temps included.


Doctor Answers 7

Teeth Whitening and Pain

Some teeth whitening systems will cause more pain and sensitivity than others. We use Kor Whitening and Whiter Image.  We have no problems with pain and sensitivity with our patients. We try to use ones that have a built in protection from  dehydration. This is what causes pain. While bleaching teeth, there is a point where all of the water is removed from the tooth and then returns. This is the painful part and Kor Whitening has a built in process that counteracts the dehydration and hence, no pain.  Also we have our patients use MI paste to help remineralize the tooth structure to reduce sensitivity. Wearing trays with flouride before bleaching helps as well as brushing with a soft brush and using a good desensitizing toothpaste.  Try to follow some of the above suggestions and we hope you have  beautiful pain free white teeth and a smile you are happy with!

Van Nuys Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

You can decrease sensitivity.

If your teeth are sensitive on a daily basis, there are things you can do to help decrease your sensitivity.  Stay away from citrus and acidic foods, and use a non-abrasive toothpaste with a soft toothbrush. A desensitizing toothpaste like Prevident 5000 can also be very helpful.  A lower strength whitening gel (10%-15%) would cause less sensitivity than a stronger gel (20%-35%).  It may take a little more time to whiten your teeth, but the results will be worth it without the added sensitivity.

Kimberly Johnson Genc, DDS
Newport Beach Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sensitive Teeth call for Sensitive Solutions

For patients with sensitive teeth we first review home care techniques. The use of an extra soft brush ( or Sonicare) and switching to a low abrasive tooth paste. I then make bleaching trays for the patient to use with MI paste (a special paste used to remineralize teeth) until the sensitivity stops. I then give the patient bleaching solution to use only one hour per day for 7-14 days

Benjamin S. Fiss, DDS
Chicago Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sensitivity to teeth whitening is common

Some products are less "sensitivity inducing" than others, but it IS common Pre dosing with ibuprofen helps, as does wearing the trays with dentist distributed Fluoride prior to the bleaching gel.

Most of the time the pain is from dehydration of the teeth while bleaching. The water is "wicked" out of the teeth, but then returns shortly.

It is commonly stated that "beauty is pain" and it may apply here. There may be some discomfort during the process, but when all is complete the pain will go away. There is no permanent damage done with this process.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Dental whitening with sensitive teeth

A small percentage of patients experience sensitivity regardless of the system used, whether it is over-the-counter strips, trays, or in-office. To minimize pain, take two Advil, an excellent anti-inflammatory, one half hour before the whitening procedure.

Choose the in-office whitening, which produces significantly less sensitivity than other methods because the hypersensitive areas of the teeth are masked.

Predictable tooth bleaching for sensitive teeth

In my personal experience, the Deep Bleaching system I use in my office with AcquaBrite bleach in the office and then having the patient do at home bleaching with Nite White, using the same custom trays, works incredibly well. Patients get at least 10 shades lighter in 2 weeks with no sensitivity in general. Even patients who have been told they can't whiten have had tremendous results with our protocol. One in office bleaching session just does not work to get long lasting, predictable results, as much as we all wish it would! And the light and the laser bleaching can often dry out the teeth which is the number one reason for sensitivity both during and after the visit. Yes, the teeth will look whiter at the end, but the color tends to rebound (darken) within a few days as the teeth rehydrate.  Patients of mine who have had sensitive teeth for years have been able to finally get the smile of their dreams with our system.  I've tried all the other ones out there as I've been bleaching teeth since 1998 and this is by far the most predictable and comfortable system I've ever used.

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD
Chicago Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sensitive teeth bleaching

Sensitivity mainly depends on the individual’s teeth and some are just more sensitive than others.

However, here at the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry we specialise in whitening treatments that use very little hydrogen peroxide (this is what can cause sensitivity) but achieve fabulous results (as if we were using a high percentage) due to the technology we apply to do the whitening. For example, we have the UltraSonic whitening, a favourite with the Hollywood A-list, which uses sound waves, instead of the usual ultraviolet light to breakdown the stain molecules on the teeth.

If you have your teeth whitened and they are a little sensitive, I would recommend not eating anything too hot or too cold for a few days, nothing too sugary or hard (like a boiled sweet) and brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If the sensitivity continues you should go back to the dentist who did the whitening.

If you are doing a whitening kit at home and your teeth/gums start to hurt, I would recommend that you stop and do the above. However, with today’s technology and at a reputable dentistry you should only be getting very minor or no sensitivity.

Mervyn Druian, BDS
London Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.