One of the side effects of teeth whitening treatment is sensitive teeth. If patients have sensitive teeth before they begin treatment, then it can cause increased discomfort during and after treatment. This review highlights how dentists can treat patients with sensitive teeth that are seeking teeth whitening treatment.
How is teeth whitening possible with sensitive teeth?
Teeth whitening may be possible depending on the severity of the sensitivity and the cause. It is important not to use any store-bought teeth whitening kits if you have sensitive teeth as they are less safe. Instead, visit the dentist for professional teeth whitening.
The different types of teeth whitening
There are three main types of teeth whitening — store-bought teeth whitening, professional at-home teeth whitening kits, and in-office teeth whitening. All three are useful in the right situation. However, professional, in-office whitening is the safest way to brighten your smile, particularly for patients that have sensitive teeth. Before deciding on which of the three options is appropriate, it is important to schedule a consultation with a licensed dentist.
The risks of teeth whitening with sensitive teeth
Teeth whitening could increase the sensitivity the patient already experiences. Subsequently, dentists typically do not recommend teeth whitening for patients with weakened or eroded enamel. Teeth whitening can also damage the tooth further, particularly if the enamel is severely weakened or the patient has cavities.
When teeth whitening is an option with sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth on their own are not a serious concern. The issue, however, lies with the underlying reason for the teeth sensitivity. Patients may need to have cavities filled and strengthen their enamel before whitening treatment. This may involve the use of fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel. Once the patient has healthy teeth, then they can schedule the teeth whitening procedure.
The alternatives to teeth whitening treatment
As mentioned, fluoride treatment or dental fillings may be necessary for weakened or eroded enamel. In addition, patients that are unable to receive teeth whitening treatment due to oral health concerns, the risk of increased sensitivity, or deep stains that cannot be improved through teeth whitening may need alternative cosmetic treatments. The two most notable types of alternative treatment to teeth whitening are dental veneers and dental bonding. These are minimally invasive procedures that are safe and effective.
How to reduce the risk of increased teeth sensitivity
You can reduce the risk of teeth sensitivity by using a toothpaste that is specifically for sensitive teeth. Talk to your dentist about the best brands to use for sensitive teeth. Also, certain dietary changes such as limiting sugar consumption and drinking more water may help. Dairy products high in calcium can help strengthen enamel and subsequently reduce teeth sensitivity as well.
Discuss your teeth whitening options with a licensed dentist
Call us today if you have sensitive teeth or are interested in teeth whitening treatment. We help our patients achieve the smile of their dreams, and we can also deal with oral health concerns such as sensitive teeth caused by weakened or eroded teeth enamel.
Request an appointment or call Smiles By Julia at 954-271-8034 for an appointment in our Fort Lauderdale office.
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