Everyone wants supermodel white teeth, right? And with all the over-the-counter whitening options, white teeth are easier than ever to attain. What many people don’t realize is that misuse of whitening products can result in tooth sensitivity, a stabbing pain when exposed to anything hot, cold, acidic or sweet. Surveys show that as high as 75 percent of people who whiten their teeth experience pain.
First, let’s explore how whitening works. A whitening agent reacts with the saliva on your teeth and converts to oxygen and water. Oxygen enters the tooth enamel and dissolves the stains to give you beautiful white teeth.
However, oxygen can also enter the dentin tubules (open tubes that contain fluid and a nerve) that lie under the enamel. The theory is that the fluid reacts to the oxygen, which irritates the nerve and sends a pain signal to the brain.
Although over-the-counter whitening agents are weaker and more temporary than the ones we use in the office, you risk causing yourself pain by misusing the product or using the wrong product for your needs. In our office, the team is trained in how to safely apply the treatment and how often to whiten. When we perform a whitening treatment in the office, we take precautions before and after the procedure to reduce the risk of the whitening agent causing tooth sensitivity.
Don’t take chances. Come see us for a healthy, painless white smile.