For sensitive teeth groups, teeth whitening treatment maybe a discomfort experience to some degree. As the mild whitening gel healthy teeth use can be more intense to sensitive ones. And the degree of discomfort while whitening treatment is mainly depending on two factors:
1) Saliva flow in the mouth
2) The condition of the tooth’s enamel.
Discomfort while whitening is the result of tooth dehydration
During the teeth whitening treatment, the gel will undergo its natural process from active to inactive. The pores in tooth are exposed, resulting in tooth dehydration. When the tooth dehydrates the dentin shrinks inward applying pressure to the nerve resulting in discomfort. The tooth will remain sensitive till the pressure is relieved from re-hydration. Natural re-hydration occurs through saliva production over several hours. However, it may take up to 48 hours for those with low saliva flow (dry mouth).
And for the ones with worn-down enamel, inner dentin and nerves are easy to be exposed. Eating or drinking something with extremely low or high temperature will cause a sharp flash of pain.
Besides, whitening formula can also lead to sensitivity. As peroxide is the main ingredient of teeth whitening products, it can weaken enamel.
Suggestion for sensitive teeth
1. Apply remineralization gel before or after teeth whitening treatment
For most, tooth sensitivity onsets several hours after whitening which means there is time to prevent the discomfort and relieve the sensitivity. So we can apply the remineralization gel before or after the whitening treatment. After 5-10 minutes, spit out the excess desensitizing gel and do not rinse right away, as the saliva helps absorb the gel. The gel slowly flows into the open pores, and the teeth will quickly re-hydrate thus preventing sensitivity. For extreme sensitivity cases, though the gel may not prevent it 100%, it can reduce the level of discomfort to some degree.
2. Avoid peroxide teeth whitening products.
For sensitive teeth, peroxide teeth whitening products may intensify sensitivity. We suggest peroxide-free whitening formula, like PAP+(Phthalimido-Peroxy-Caproic acid), which is a scientifically proven teeth whitening ingredient that is a safe alternative to peroxide. It has no negative side effects during the oxidation of tooth stains which allows it to effectively whiten without pain or sensitivity.