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Dealing with Severe Tooth Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can enhance the brightness of your smile. While many individuals experience successful and comfortable teeth whitening, some may encounter heightened tooth sensitivity following the treatment. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the potential causes of severe tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening, effective strategies for managing discomfort, and when to seek professional advice.

Understanding Severe Tooth Sensitivity Post-Whitening

Teeth sensitivity after whitening is not uncommon, and it usually occurs when the bleaching agents used in the whitening process penetrate the enamel and reach the tooth’s nerve centre, known as the pulp. However, severe sensitivity is less common and may be attributed to several factors.

Potential Causes of Severe Tooth Sensitivity

  1. Concentration of Bleaching Agents:
    • Higher concentrations of bleaching agents, especially in professional-grade treatments, can lead to increased tooth sensitivity.
  2. Prolonged Whitening Sessions:
    • Extended or frequent whitening sessions can exacerbate sensitivity as the exposure to bleaching agents accumulates.
  3. Pre-existing Dental Issues:
    • Individuals with pre-existing dental conditions, such as cavities or gum recession, may be more prone to severe sensitivity post-whitening. Severe Tooth Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening
  4. Enamel Thickness:
    • Thinner enamel may allow bleaching agents to reach the dentin and pulp more easily, triggering heightened sensitivity.
  5. Dehydration of Teeth:
    • Inadequate hydration during the whitening process can contribute to sensitivity, as hydrated teeth are less susceptible to irritation.

Strategies for Managing Severe Tooth Sensitivity

Home Remedies and Self-Care

  1. Use Toothpaste for Sensitivity:
    • Specially formulated toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help alleviate discomfort. Apply a small amount to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently.
  2. Avoid Cold and Hot Foods:
    • Temporarily avoid extremely cold or hot foods and beverages to prevent further irritation to sensitive teeth.
  3. Rinse with Saltwater:
    • Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to reduce inflammation and soothe sensitive teeth.
  4. Use a Soft Toothbrush:
    • Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to minimise abrasive contact with teeth and gums.
  5. Apply Desensitising Gel:
    • Over-the-counter desensitising gels can provide relief. Follow the product instructions for application.

Professional Intervention

  1. Consult Your Dentist:
    • If severe sensitivity persists, consult your dentist. They can assess the cause of the sensitivity and recommend appropriate interventions.
  2. Desensitising Treatments:
    • Dentists may offer in-office desensitising treatments to provide immediate relief and address the underlying cause of sensitivity.
  3. Customised Whitening Trays:
    • Dentists can provide custom-fitted whitening trays that minimise contact with sensitive areas while still effectively whitening the teeth.
  4. Prescription-strength Desensitisers:
    • In some cases, dentists may prescribe prescription-strength desensitising agents for more severe sensitivity.

When to Seek Professional Advice

  1. Persistent Sensitivity:
    • If sensitivity persists for an extended period, despite home remedies, it’s crucial to seek professional advice.
  2. Intolerable Discomfort:
    • If the sensitivity is causing intolerable discomfort, it’s advisable to consult with a dentist promptly.
  3. Signs of Other Dental Issues:
    • If sensitivity is accompanied by signs of other dental issues, such as severe pain, swelling, or changes in tooth colour, immediate professional evaluation is necessary. Teeth Whitening Sensitivity

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How long does tooth sensitivity last after whitening?
    • Answer: Tooth sensitivity after whitening is usually temporary and may last a few days to a couple of weeks. If it persists, professional evaluation is recommended.
  2. Can I continue using whitening products if I experience sensitivity?
    • Answer: It’s advisable to pause whitening treatments if severe sensitivity occurs. Consult with a dentist before resuming.
  3. Are there long-term effects of severe tooth sensitivity after whitening?
    • Answer: Long-term effects are uncommon. However, persistent sensitivity may indicate underlying issues that require professional attention.
  4. Can desensitising toothpaste prevent sensitivity before whitening?
    • Answer: Using desensitising toothpaste before whitening can help prepare teeth and reduce the likelihood of sensitivity.
  5. Is it normal to experience sensitivity with all whitening products?
    • Answer: Some sensitivity is common with whitening products. However, the severity varies, and professional-grade treatments may cause more intense sensitivity.
  6. Can sensitivity occur with at-home whitening kits?
    • Answer: Yes, sensitivity can occur with at-home kits. Following the instructions and using products in moderation can help minimise sensitivity.
  7. Are there alternative whitening methods for individuals with severe sensitivity?
    • Answer: Individuals with severe sensitivity may explore alternative cosmetic procedures, such as veneers, as an option for achieving a brighter smile.
  8. Can sensitivity after whitening affect daily activities, such as eating and drinking?
    • Answer: Severe sensitivity may impact daily activities. Adjusting the diet temporarily and using strategies to minimise contact with sensitive areas can help.
  9. Does the type of whitening treatment impact sensitivity levels?
    • Answer: Professional treatments with higher concentrations of bleaching agents may increase sensitivity compared to over-the-counter products. Individual tolerance varies.
  10. Can underlying dental issues contribute to severe sensitivity after whitening?
  • Answer: Yes, pre-existing dental issues, such as cavities or gum problems, can contribute to increased sensitivity after whitening.
  1. Can sensitivity after teeth whitening lead to permanent damage?
  • Answer: In most cases, sensitivity is temporary and does not cause permanent damage. However, seeking prompt professional advice is crucial to address any underlying issues.
  1. Are there specific foods or drinks to avoid to prevent worsening sensitivity?
  • Answer: To minimise sensitivity, avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages, acidic foods, and those with high sugar content.
  1. Is it safe to use over-the-counter pain relievers for tooth sensitivity after whitening?
  • Answer: Over-the-counter pain relievers, as recommended, can help manage discomfort. However, consulting with a dentist before use is advisable.
  1. Can tooth sensitivity after whitening affect existing dental restorations, such as fillings or crowns?
  • Answer: While rare, severe sensitivity may impact existing dental restorations. If you experience discomfort, consult with your dentist for evaluation.
  1. Does the type of toothbrush impact sensitivity after whitening?
  • Answer: Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended to minimise abrasive contact with teeth and gums, especially when experiencing sensitivity after whitening.


Severe tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening can be a temporary challenge, but it is manageable with the right strategies. Understanding the potential causes, implementing effective home remedies, and seeking professional advice when needed are essential steps in addressing severe sensitivity. By taking a proactive approach, individuals can enjoy the benefits of teeth whitening without prolonged discomfort. If you experience severe sensitivity, consult with your dentist for personalised guidance and appropriate interventions.

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What Our Patients Are Saying

Hay CHay C
10:35 23 Apr 24
I wanted to improve my smile for my wedding. I had a hygiene clean & teeth whitening. As someone who dreads the dentist they made me feel comfortable whilst being professional. Reccomend.
Terry WilliamsTerry Williams
14:47 02 Apr 24
Chelcie JollyChelcie Jolly
20:30 15 Mar 24
I went to Brentwood dentist very nervous because of bad experiences priorAnd I had such a good experience with Anthony the dentist there he is so patient calming and kind and I will be going to only from now onI thought he deserves a review and for fellow nervous patients i highly recommend
Carmen BogarCarmen Bogar
17:24 01 Mar 24
Lovely and welcoming People👌
Rebecca BrownRebecca Brown
19:12 23 Feb 24
Dr Anthony is a brilliant dentist, understanding, kind, explains everything simply, wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.My partner has had bad experiences with the dentist, very anxious, Dr Anthony gave him confidence to return, my whole family will be joining you soon.
Ros ClarkRos Clark
08:15 03 Feb 24
I can’t praise the Brentwood Tooth Doctor enough. Having had previously bad experiences at dentists and not having been to a dentist for longer than I care to remember I went with trepidation. But I found everyone to be very pleasant and professional from the receptionist, the nurse and Anthony the dentist. Anthony was friendly, calming and never judgmental. My nervousness of getting treatment washed away. I can’t thank the team enough.
Sharon LapslieSharon Lapslie
09:54 09 Jan 24
Jade is lovely and patient. I’m nervous of the dentist, she talked me through everything involved in my tooth extraction. She was as gentle as she could be, I have the confidence to go back now for a check up to see what else needs doing.
matt aredematt arede
13:39 28 Dec 23
This is by far the best dentist I ever been. The receptionist Nanayaa was super simpatic and was calming me down before the consultation. I had a initial consultation with Dr. Anthony who was very helpful and understanding considering that I am a very anxious patient. He was gentle, kind and really solved my problem. After that I needed to do a filling with Dr.Jade as the days that Dr. Anthony works I wasn't around. She was so clever as she really understand my situation and helped me out to make the best decision in my case. Her assistant (also called Jade) was very kind on holding my hand while she applied the anaesthetic and the filling was great and I couldn't be more happier. TOTALLY RECOMEND.
Abbie RichardsonAbbie Richardson
22:57 01 Dec 23
After avoiding the dentist for years, Anthony was outstanding. I physically could not recommend this dentist practise or Anthony anymore, everyone there was lovely
Sophisticated knightSophisticated knight
14:03 30 Nov 23
Clean professional outfit. Friendly staff, reasonable prices and makes what can be an experience a lot of people dread a more pleasant one.
Soo Ling OonSoo Ling Oon
13:32 29 Nov 23
Bradley MorrisBradley Morris
08:43 21 Nov 23
Recommended to these guys by a friend, and I can see why!Great customer service, treated me on the same day, lovely staff - I highly recommend these guys too if looking for dental care in Brentwood
Neethu VargheseNeethu Varghese
10:04 11 Nov 23
Lovely place and staffs. The doctor Anthony was very friendly and made me feel comfortable throughout the process.
Lea EkwubiriLea Ekwubiri
14:11 23 Oct 23
Anthony is probably the best Dentist I have ever seen. I've always had a terrible fear of Dentists, but after meeting Anthony I felt relaxed, I felt that I could trust him too, which is so important to me. I would recommend him to anybody, he's a lovely young, and knows his stuff.
Kemi OKemi O
09:28 10 Oct 23
Amazing service! I left my local dentist of 8 years due to bad service and I am so happy my family is under the care of Jayde. Professional, personal and knowledgeable. She educates you on your teeth - something I have never had. Would recommend to anyone looking for a quality dentist who does not see you as just a number.
Darren HutsonDarren Hutson
08:24 22 Aug 23
Paul WhalleyPaul Whalley
09:58 16 Aug 23
Dentist Jayde is very pleasant, very through and very professional.Practice is private only, no NHS.
Sandra PAVEYSandra PAVEY
08:44 16 Aug 23
Very good serviceJadye is an excellent dentistWould highly recommend
matt aredematt arede
11:30 30 Jul 23
Gigi TacelGigi Tacel
08:13 26 Jul 23
Great dentist, would recommend to anyone wanting any treatments or dental hygiene, fillings, etc.Special shout out to dentist Jayde who was very supportive, professional, made me feel comfortable, explains everything clearly and I was very satisfied with everything done. Highly recommended!
Krissy RaceKrissy Race
09:56 18 Jul 23
11:55 11 Apr 23
Absolutely Amazing, got me in when fully booked as I was in Pain, the Staff all staff second to none, top Service, can't praise them enough 🙌 👏
Freddie TurnerFreddie Turner
13:47 25 Jan 23
What a fantastic dentists!After trying most of the local dentists in the Brentwood area and most having a long waiting list I was presently surprised at how fast and simple the booking process was.The dental treatment was for my father who suffers from poor mental health and hadn't been to the dentist for over 20 years so this was extremely daunting for him.From the first call to our last treatment, the team were Fantastic. They went above and beyond to make my father feel at ease throughout the process and have such a high level for patients care and wellbeing.The work carried out was A1 and my father was extremely happy with his dental work and would highly recommend!!From Derek and Feeddie THANK YOU!ps. Sorry for the delay!
17:59 08 Nov 22
I have just finished my Invisalign treatment with Jayde @ the Brentwood branch and I could not recommend more highly. From start to finish Jayde explained each step thoroughly & kept me at ease. I am over the moon with how my teeth now look. The process was smooth painless and fast! Thank you so much
Gina PavlovaGina Pavlova
14:58 17 Oct 22
I required an emergency appointment and they were able to accommodate.The staff were all very friendly , welcoming and explained everything to me which made me very much at ease .I would defiantly recommend

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