Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic dentistry procedures in the UK. According to a 2020 survey, 22% of Brits expressed their desire to get their teeth professionally whitened. However, the Oral Health Foundation estimates that thousands of Britons get their teeth whitened by untrained and illegal providers, putting them at risk of tooth decay and sensitivity.   

So, is teeth whitening really safe? And how to prevent our teeth from sensitivity after teeth whitening? If you are searching for answers to these questions, you have come to the right place. So, read on to learn everything you need to know about teeth whitening. 

Is Laser Teeth Whitening The Same As Bleaching Your Teeth?

Laser teeth whitening is a form of bleaching carried out in the dentist’s office. It is different from the other whitening procedures. Although both laser whitening and conventional tooth bleaching use a bleaching agent to remove teeth stains, they differ in their mechanism of action. In laser whitening, your dentist will use a special light source that will activate the bleaching agent. As a result, laser bleaching is safer and more effective in removing teeth stains. 

Does Using Teeth Whitening Give You Cavities?

It is often thought that getting your teeth whitened will put you at risk of developing complications like sensitivity and tooth decay. Although such complications can arise when one uses an unapproved at-home whitening formula or undergoes treatment by a novice, you don’t have to worry about these problems when you go to a trained and experienced cosmetic dentist. The reason is that dental professionals use highly potent yet safe bleaching agents for teeth whitening. So, while these bleaching agents are much more effective than those used in at-home formulas, they are also safer and do not cause any adverse effects. Therefore, tooth sensitivity should not be a concern when you get your teeth whitened by a dental professional. 

Does Teeth Whitening Really Work?

Yes, teeth whitening really works! Professionally done teeth whitening utilises a potent bleaching agent that can reduce one’s teeth shade by several units in a single sitting. However, it must be kept in mind that teeth whitening is most effective on extrinsic teeth stains like

  • coffee
  • tea
  • tobacco
  • curry stains.

Intrinsic stains, such as those caused by tetracycline or internal bleeding, require separate treatment. Besides, most at-home teeth whitening formulas are also effective, but they are not as potent as the ones used by dentists. 

Does It Hurt When You Get Your Teeth Whitened?

Teeth whitening is a simple and painless procedure. Before starting the treatment, your dentist will first apply cocoa butter or vaseline around your gums, lips, and cheeks to prevent burning or accidental bleaching. Besides, they will use special custom whitening trays to ensure that the bleaching agent does not spill and injure the oral soft tissues. So, teeth whitening is entirely pain-free. 

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Teeth whitening is safe as long as it is performed by an experienced and qualified dental professional or a whitening formula approved by your local dental regulatory authority is used. Tooth bleaching-related complications can occur when they get their teeth whitened by inexperienced individuals or use whitening formulas that contain dangerously high concentrations of the bleaching agent – which do more harm than good. 

How Do You Reduce The Tooth Sensitivity After Whitening?

Slight pain, discomfort, and sensitivity in the teeth is not uncommon after teeth whitening. However, these problems are transient and will disappear in a few days. To reduce tooth sensitivity after whitening, you should avoid hot or cold drinks for the first 1-2 days. Furthermore, you should use an abrasive-free toothpaste to prevent further sensitivity. Instead, you should use anti-sensitivity toothpaste that helps remineralise and strengthen the exposed enamel layer. You may also use a painkiller to minimise the pain. 

Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Use Whitening Toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste contains abrasives. These abrasives perform a mechanical action by removing a thin layer of the outer tooth enamel with the teeth stains. So, every time you brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste, you remove a thin layer of the enamel. So, the long term use of abrasive-containing toothpaste results in permanent loss of the outer protective enamel and exposes the underlying sensitive tissues: dentine and the pulp. When this happens, the teeth become sensitive and prone to the development of cavities. That is why, it is not advisable to use whitening toothpaste for a long time. 

Will Remineralizing A Tooth Stop Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the outer protective enamel layer of the teeth is lost. This can occur because of using too much force while brushing or toothpaste with high abrasive content. If the enamel layer is partially lost, it can be reinforced by using remineralising toothpaste or topical agents. On the other hand, if the entire enamel layer is lost, the only option to restore the tooth – and prevent sensitivity – is to apply a suitable filling material over it. 

Munro Hall is a holistic dental practice providing safe and environment-friendly dental treatment options to the residents of Bedford for many years. We use natural products for teeth whitening that don’t cause post-op complications but are highly effective. So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with us today and walk away with a sparkling white smile in just one sitting!

Last Updated: June 8, 2022

Munro Hall Clinic  »  Cosmetic Dentistry  »  Can You Get Sensitive Teeth After Teeth Whitening? – And Other Common Questions