What Causes Teeth Whitening Sensitivity?

What Causes Teeth Whitening Sensitivity?

Just about everyone wants a white smile and sparkling teeth. Teeth whitening is a great way to improve the look of your smile and boost your confidence. While there are plenty of at-home and professional teeth whitening options, these peroxide-based bleaching solutions can cause sensitive teeth. Here's why.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a sensation experienced as a wave of discomfort or pain in response to certain stimuli, such as cold air or hot beverages. This issue is also called dentin hypersensitivity. Some people naturally have more sensitive teeth than others. However, tooth sensitivity can also be due to teeth whitening procedures. After treatment, you may experience a heightened period of mild discomfort and increased sensitivity, which usually dissipates within 48 hours.

What Causes Teeth Whitening Sensitivity?

What triggers tooth sensitivity following a whitening procedure? The cause is largely unknown. Some people may be more sensitive to the procedure due to having thinner enamel. Sensitivity may also be linked to the gentle bleaching agent that makes whitening work. This whitening agent functions by penetrating the enamel, which can expose some nerve endings close to the surface and irritate the tooth's nerve.

Other factors can contribute to teeth whitening sensitivity. These causes may include:


  • Teeth grinding.
  • Gum recession.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Broken, cracked or chipped teeth.
  • Worn-down fillings or crowns.
  • Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard toothbrush.
  • Eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks, such as coffee or citrus.
  • Too much mouthwash.
  • Underlying conditions, like gastroesophageal reflux, which may wear teeth down over time. 


How to Make Teeth Less Sensitive

Most whitening-related sensitivity fades within 48 hours. However, if you have especially sensitive teeth, you may be able to address this uncomfortable feeling with a few changes to your oral hygiene regimen.

Try EverSmile® Products

Whether you wear clear aligners, braces or dentures or just want to freshen your teeth, products from EverSmile® have a sensitive formula that helps your smile stay bright and youthful with virtually no tooth sensitivity. WhiteFoam™ is an advanced cleaning formula that freshens breath and cleans orthodontic aligners and clear retainers. WhitenFresh™ is a cleaning and tooth whitening spray that can prevent staining while gradually brightening your teeth.

Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Toothpaste made for sensitive teeth doesn't have any irritating ingredients. Some also have desensitizing ingredients to block discomfort from traveling to your nerve roots. 

Avoid Irritating Foods, Drinks and Cleaners

For a couple of days after your whitening treatment, try to avoid hot and cold beverages and acidic foods. You might also want to switch to a fluoride-based mouthwash or limit rinsing.

Brush Gently

Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled brush. You may also want to use lukewarm water instead of cold to prevent discomfort. 

Try Products Safe for Sensitive Teeth

If you're interested in having a whiter smile but want to avoid uncomfortable teeth sensitivity, try out EverSmile® whitening products. These effective, on-the-go solutions make an excellent addition to your daily routine. Find our products at a nearby store or order them online.


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