When teeth-whitening is performed by a professional, it’s typically a quick, convenient, and comfortable process. However, people prone to sensitivity may experience some discomfort.
Tooth sensitivity is the common term for dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity. About half the population suffers from some form of tooth sensitivity. When hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods are consumed, an uncomfortable tingling can occur. In severe cases, even cold air can trigger discomfort.
In healthy teeth, porous tissue called dentin is protected by your gums and your teeth’s hard outer layer of enamel. When dentin becomes exposed due to receding gums, fractured, or chipped teeth, microscopic holes that lead to the nerve can cause pain when irritated by foods and beverages.
To help protect your sensitive teeth, try a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Crest Pro-Health. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush can also strengthen your gums and consequently decrease sensitivity. In extreme cases, try speaking to your dentist who may advise a prescription fluoride rinse or gel made for sensitive teeth.
“When people visit Pearl Spa for teeth whitening in Vancouver, they offer an optional fluoride treatment that reduces sensitivity and helps strengthen teeth.
Steps to help reduce sensitivity before teeth whitening or any time, include:
* maintaining good oral hygiene—follow proper brushing and flossing techniques to thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth
* avoiding highly acid foods can gradually dissolve tooth enamel and catalyze dentin exposure
* using fluoridated dental products and mouth rinse
* using a mouth guard to avoid grinding or clenching teeth
* visiting your dentist regularly for tooth cleaning, oral hygiene instructions, and fluoride treatments every 6 months
With a little diligence, your teeth will be ready for whitening—and anything else that comes their way!
Emma Johnson is the owner of Pearl Boutique, a clinic that specializes in teeth whitening. She is a registered dental hygienist and completed her diploma at Camosun College, which offers one of the best recognized dental hygiene programs in Canada. Emma also holds a health science degree in kinesiology from the University of the Fraser Valley.