Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening or bleaching is a cosmetic dentistry procedure which is performed for aesthetic reasons. The main reason is to whiten badly stained teeth to improve their appearance and give a bright, white smile.

The ‘Hollywood’ or ‘celebrity’ smile is much sought after these days.

Teeth whitening process

Teeth whitening is able to bleach teeth which are stained yellow to an attractive white colour. It removes stains such as those caused by tea, coffee, red wine etc and can be performed on its own or as part of a ‘smile makeover’.

But teeth whitening has been found to cause sensitive teeth after the procedure. This occurs with both home teeth whitening kits and in-house treatment at a dental surgery. The extent of the sensitivity varies from one person to another.

Teeth whitening involve the use of peroxide - a known bleaching agent which changes the colour of the teeth from yellow to white. The shade of white depends upon the system used and the person in question. Some people achieve a higher degree of whiteness than others.

In-house treatment and home whitening kits

In-house teeth whitening at a dental surgery can be expensive so many people use home teeth whitening kits and/or toothpastes but there are a few side effects with doing so.

One of this is that the bleaching agent can leak out onto the gums which can cause them to become swollen and inflamed. If it reaches the teeth then it is likely to cause heightened sensitivity.

Some of these systems contain high levels of peroxide which is abrasive to the teeth.

Sensitive teeth are a known side effect of this treatment.

If you are prone to sensitive teeth then think again before opting for teeth whitening. This treatment may worsen this sensitivity. This is more likely to happen in people who already have sensitive teeth.

What can help is to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth and a soft bristled brush before and after teeth whitening treatment. Reduce the amount of time you spend using a home based kit and do not use this kit too often.