Easy tips for tackling the pain from teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is one of our core dentistry treatments here at AP Smilecare, and we’ve used it to bring some fantastic results for many of our patients over the years. Pain from teeth whitening is a reasonably common side effect. Thankfully though, it’s a very temporary one, generally lasting a few days at most. This week, we’re explaining a bit about why that happens, and introducing you to some easy ways to deal with it. First off…

Why does tooth bleaching hurt?

Lots of people tend to think of tooth whitening as only affecting the outside of the tooth, but that’s a common misconception. A lot of the reason why teeth whitening is such a delicate procedure (often best performed by professionals!) is because it actually affects the inner part of your tooth. The main lightening agent is hydrogen peroxide gel, which has to be able to penetrate the tooth structure and oxidise the colour compounds in the actual dentin (the sensitive layer of living tissue within your teeth). When that inner part of your tooth is whitened, the colour that’s then reflected through the outer part of your enamel is whiter, which is what gives you that brighter, happier smile.

How to deal with teeth whitening sensitivity

As we touched on above, one of the most important things to remember is that the pain is temporary, lasting a few days at the most. If it’s any longer, make sure to let us know! In the meantime though, there are a couple of ways you can take the edge off the pain.

tooth pain

When you’re eating

As with many dental treatments, the sensitivity you experience after teeth whitening can result in heightened responses to hot, cold, or particularly sweet foods. Often, unfortunately, this is in the form of short, sharp bursts of pain. They might not be totally unavoidable, but you can minimise them by steering clear of extremely hot or cold foods, such as ice cream or samosas. (Especially if you’re planning on eating them together. Although that would be horrible anyway.)

When you’re brushing your teeth

This is where it can help to plan ahead a little bit. Two weeks before your teeth whitening treatment, you can use desensitising gel to brush your teeth. However, when it comes to the day of your treatment, make sure you brush just before it, and not just after. Brushing after your treatment can open pores on your dentin, which can be just as painful as it sounds. In the days following, make sure you’re using a soft-bristled brush when you’re cleaning your teeth. These are much gentler on your teeth and gums, and can help you cut back on your symptoms.

Ask us!

Circumstances vary between patients, which means it’s possible that our experts here at AP Smilecare might be able to recommend something specific to either pre-empt or deal with the pain and sensitivity. You can also take anti-inflammatories or painkillers, as they’ll reduce the swelling of the nerves that were tensed by the bleaching chemicals. If you’re ever unsure of what to take, though (or even if you are sure), it’s often wise to check with us beforehand – just in case!

Here at AP Smilecare, your dental health is our top priority – so whether you’re taking advantage of our teeth whitening treatment or any of the other fantastic core dentistry treatments we offer, you can count on us to deliver amazing results in a safe, smooth-running experience. Why not swing by our dentist’s office in Blackburn, or give us a call on 01254 297 000 to see what we can do for you?