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(781) 665-1552

Does Teeth Whitening Actually Cause Teeth Sensitivity?

Teeth whitening is a dental procedure that many people opt for to improve their smile by whitening their teeth. The process can include gentle, effective treatments that can remove years of dental stains to reveal those pearly whites. However, some people may find that tooth sensitivity is a side effect of such a procedure, or they assume so. As such, you might be wondering if teeth whitening does indeed cause teeth sensitivity, and if it does, what you can do to alleviate it.

Well, if those things are all in your mind, you’re in the right place! Let’s talk about that:

How Does The Teeth Whitening Procedure Work?

The teeth whitening procedure is a simple one. The dentist or the technician applies the teeth whitening solution on your teeth, which can (but not always) be a little uncomfortable. Once applied, the teeth whitening solution is left on for a specific amount of time. After that time has passed, your teeth will be rinsed, and the solution will be removed. This results in whiter teeth that will enhance your smile!

Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

In most cases, teeth whitening doesn’t cause teeth sensitivity. However, if the teeth whitening solution does not have a sensitivity inhibitor, then it could cause teeth sensitivity (although this is unlikely).

So what is a sensitivity inhibitor, you might wonder? A sensitivity inhibitor is a chemical that enhances the teeth whitening procedure by helping to reduce teeth sensitivity during the teeth whitening process. In fact, teeth whitening products that have a sensitivity inhibitor are much more effective and less likely to cause teeth sensitivity.

What Are The Signs Of Teeth Sensitivity?

If you experience teeth sensitivity following your teeth whitening, then it’s possible that you did indeed have a sensitivity-causing whitening product applied. The signs of teeth sensitivity include the following:

  • Pain when you chew
  • Pain when you eat hot or cold foods
  • Tender teeth
  • Swelling in the teeth
  • Redness in the gums

What Can Be Done To Alleviate Teeth Sensitivity?

There are a couple of things you can do to help alleviate teeth sensitivity should you be experiencing it:

1. Use A Toothpaste Made To Combat Teeth Sensitivity

If you are, in fact, experiencing teeth sensitivity, then you should consider using toothpaste made to combat teeth sensitivity. Such toothpaste typically contains ingredients like strontium chloride or potassium nitrate that create a protective layer on the tooth’s enamel. This helps to reduce the amount of sensitivity you may experience in the future!

2. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to alleviate teeth sensitivity. Not only is gum a great way to keep your mouth clean, but it’s also a great way to relieve your teeth sensitivity. Picking a sugar-free gum is recommended, as sugar-free gum helps to reduce acidity in the mouth and thus, can help you to avoid teeth sensitivity.

3. Avoid Certain Drinks And Food Items

If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, then avoid certain foods and drinks that might make the condition worse. For example, avoid eating or drinking products with a lot of citric acids, like lemons and grapefruit. Citric acid is known to cause teeth sensitivity, so if you can avoid it, you might want to. Also, avoid food that is too hot or cold, as it can cause discomfort.


As you can see, teeth whitening may cause teeth sensitivity, but it’s not a common occurrence. However, if you experience teeth sensitivity following your whitening, then it’s possible that you were given a whitening product that did not have a sensitivity inhibitor in it. Regardless, there are many ways you can alleviate teeth sensitivity, and if you need more help with it, don’t be afraid to consult your dentist!

Melrose Dental Group offers comprehensive dental care to tackle any dental-related issues you may have. If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Melrose to help whiten your teeth, book an appointment with us today!

12 Porter Street, Melrose, MA 02176 – phone (781) 665-1552 – fax (781) 665-5826
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 Melrose Dental Group | 12 Porter Street Melrose, MA 02170 | (781) 665-1552