Best Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth and Gums
Do you get a sharp jolt of pain in your teeth when eating anything hot or cold? Research from the Journal of the American Dental Association shows that one in every eight Americans has overly-sensitive teeth and gums.
Teeth sensitivity occurs when the tooth enamel wears away. The erosion exposes the small tubes connecting the exterior of the tooth to the nerves. The dentists involved in the JADA study asked patients if they experienced tooth pain, ensuring there was no relation to problems like cavities and gingivitis.
Around 12% of patients experienced tooth sensitivity relating to a secondary problem. Previous studies show that some dental practices report as much as 52% of patient reporting issues with teeth sensitivity.
Why Do Whitening Products make Your Tooth Sensitivity Worse?
Most at-home tooth whitening systems contain hydrogen peroxide as the chief ingredient responsible for creating the bleaching effect. Unfortunately, excessive exposure to hydrogen peroxide causes your gums to recede.
As the gums retreat, it accelerates wear of the enamel on your teeth, causing sensitivity. The peroxide may also cause inflammation and irritation in the gums.
How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?
You'll book an appointment with the cosmetic dentist for the procedure. During the examination, the dentist exposes your teeth using specialized instruments. They coat the edges of your gums with a rubber or resin dam to prevent the whitening gel from getting on your gums.
The dentist applies the bleaching agent to your teeth. They leave it to sit for between 15 to 30-minutes, depending on the extent of the staining. You'll be going home with a brighter smile less than 45-minutes after walking into your dentist's office.
Some dentists also offer a tray whitening system where they take your teeth impressions to make a custom tray. They provide you with molds for the top and lower jaw, as well as whitening gel. You'll use the gel as per the dentist's directions.
Professional in-chair whitening at the dentist is effective but expensive. You get the advantage of professional treatment, with follow-ups and specialized care. However, times haven't changed much, and cosmetic dentistry will set you back in your bank account.
How Does At-Home Teeth Whitening Work?
There are plenty of at-home whitening solutions available. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are good choices, but the costs add to your monthly personal care expenses.
We recommend you go with an at-home whitening kit for best results. These kits are affordable and effective and easy to use.
With an at-home kit, you get a set of teeth trays and a specialized whitening gel. Insert the gel into the trays and leave it to work for 10-minutes. Some models come with specialized light devices to accelerate the whitening effect.
The treatment lasts for 7 to 12-days, depending on how much you want to whiten your teeth. Most systems claim you'll see your teeth get up to 10-shades lighter in two weeks of treatment. Scroll your feed on Instagram, and you've probably already seen stars like Kylie Jenner and Conor McGregor using these devices. In posts, they grin at the camera with an ominous blue glow coming from their teeth.
Search online, and you'll find several teeth whitening websites offering products. We recommend looking for a brand that provides a formula focusing on less hydrogen peroxide in the ingredients.
The Verdict – What's the Best Whitening for Sensitive Teeth?
If you have the budget, then we recommend going with a professional whitening service at your dentist. However, if the cost is a concern, and you want a brighter smile, give at-home whitening a try.
Both have advantages and drawbacks, and everyone's experience will be different. Choose the system that makes sense for your teeth and your budget.