Monday, February 2, 2015

Can I Have a Teeth Whitening Treatment With Sensitive Teeth?

Teeth Whitening
In our dental office, we provide teeth whitening services, and it is normal for those with sensitive teeth to ask if the procedure is safe. The answer is – yes when performed in our dental office. It is always wise to remain under the care of a dentist, when performing any treatments on your teeth. Even natural home remedies can damage your enamel if you are not careful. For this reason, we recommend scheduling a consultation or dental exam to discuss the best way to get the smile you have always wanted.

There are several reasons why having your teeth professionally whitened is better than trying it at home.  To start, the whitening solution in store bought products is not as strong, and this often leads people to overuse them.  If, for example, you use whitening strips and don't think your teeth got white, you may be tempted to buy whitening trays from the store and use them right away.  This is unwise because overexposure to the solution can irritate your teeth and gums.  Instead, it is better to visit our dentist office because our whitening solution produces dramatic results the first time, so there is no need, or risk, of overusing them.
Additionally, if you purchase teeth whitening trays in the store, there is the risk that the solution will leak out.  They design the trays to fit a variety of people and a variety of teeth.  This means that they won't fit your teeth perfectly.  Naturally, this creates leakage problems but when you visit our office, a custom tray can be created using a mold of your mouth.  With a fit that is snug and tight, there is no risk for leakage when using the right amount of solution.  This is important because the gum tissue is sensitive, and when the whitening solution comes in contact with it, people experience immediate irritation that can sometimes last for a few days.

The American Dental Association further explored the issue of teeth whitening for those with sensitive teeth and released a paper with their findings.  Titled, “Tooth Whitening/Bleaching: Treatment Considerations for Dentists and Their Patients”, the recommend that patients use potassium nitrate as a way to mitigate any sensitivity concerns.  Several toothpaste brands have this ingredient in them and by switching your paste prior to whitening your teeth, you can reduce the chance of irritation.  Simultaneously, the ADA recommended that dentists place potassium nitrate into teeth whitening trays and apply it to the teeth for thirty minutes prior to starting the treatment.  These solutions are simple, yet effective and must be administered under the care of a dental professional.

Once your teeth have been whitened, you can help to keep them that way by watching what you eat and drink.  There are several types of foods that will lead to staining.  For example, drinking red wine and coffee may cause staining as will eating a lot of red pasta sauce.  You can decrease your risk of staining by rinsing your mouth immediately after or brushing your teeth right away.