Whitening Strips Woes: Understanding the Cause of Tooth Sensitivity

Whitening Strips Woes: Understanding the Cause of Tooth Sensitivity

Apr 01, 2023

What are Whitening Strips?

Teeth whitening strips are designed to remove stains from your teeth, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile. The strips are made of a thin, flexible plastic that is coated with a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching agent.

OTC teeth whitening strips are available without a prescription at most drugstores and supermarkets. They typically come in packages of 14 or 28 strips, which are meant to be used once or twice a day for two weeks.

Whitening strips can brighten your teeth but also cause tooth sensitivity. The strips work by bleaching the teeth, which can make the teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. If you experience tooth sensitivity after using whitening strips, seeing a Port Hueneme dentist is important to determine the cause.

Why Do Whitening Strips Cause Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the strip comes into contact with your gums and teeth for an extended period. The chemicals in the strip can cause your gums to become irritated and your teeth to become more sensitive to varied temperatures.

The strips can cause the teeth to become dehydrated, which makes them more sensitive to temperature changes and touch. The whitening strips can wear down the enamel on the teeth, making them more susceptible to sensitivity.

If you experience tooth sensitivity after using whitening strips, it’s important to stop and see your dentist. In most cases, tooth sensitivity from whitening strips is temporary and will disappear once you stop using the strips.

Why Do Whitening Strips Hurt My Teeth?

There are many reasons why whitening strips can hurt your teeth, and they include the following:

  1. The strips contain abrasives that abrade away tooth enamel and expose underlying dentin. This can result in a dulled appearance of the teeth after treatment and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.
  2. Whitening strips may contain chemicals that can damage enamel and cause bleeding gums and sensitivity in the area around your teeth where the strip was applied.
  3. The whitening process itself can damage dental work done by previous dentists or endodontists

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity from Whitening Strips

You can prevent tooth sensitivity by:

  • Ensure you use strips that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These strips will have a lower concentration of bleaching agents and are less likely to cause sensitivity.
  • Follow the directions on the package carefully. Do not leave the strips on for longer than directed, as this can increase the risk of sensitivity.
  • Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth before and after using whitening strips to protect your teeth from the bleaching agents and will also help to soothe any existing sensitivity.
  • Also, use the right strength of the product to prevent damage to the teeth and gums.
  • You can also use a mouthwash designed for sensitive mouths. These mouthwashes often contain fluoride, which can help to strengthen the teeth and reduce sensitivity. Finally, if your symptoms persist, you should see your dentist for further evaluation and treatment options.
  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash. These products can help to reduce discomfort and will also help to protect your teeth from future sensitivities.

Alternatives to Teeth Whitening Strips

While teeth whitening strips are popular for at-home bleaching, they’re not the only option. If strips cause too much sensitivity or don’t work well, a few other alternatives are worth trying.

You can opt for toothpaste with special ingredients that help to remove stains and make teeth appear brighter. They typically don’t contain bleach, so they don’t have the same sensitivity risk. Just be sure to use them as directed – overuse can damage your enamel.

If you’re serious about getting your teeth their whitest, you can always get a professional whitening near you. This method is usually the most expensive but is also the most effective way to get truly white teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit All Care Dental by the Sea for more information about teeth whitening and how it can be done safely.

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