I have Sensitive Teeth After Whitening, is that Normal?

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Who doesn’t love to have a bright smile? Showing off straight white teeth can help you build your confidence in your personal and your professional life. That perfect smile may also help you land a coveted spot as an influencer and even help kickstart a modeling or presenting career if that’s what you’re looking to do. So, what’s holding you back? Perhaps you’re afraid of suffering from sensitive teeth after whitening treatments? Here is what you need to know.


Teeth whitening uses chemicals, including bleaching agents, that help transform the color of your teeth and the appearance of your smile. When you’re having your treatment, these chemicals are applied to your teeth, but they don’t remain only on the surface. Whitening agents penetrate the outer layer of your teeth, the enamel, through microscopic channels known as dentin tubules.

Those channels are connected to the nerves of your teeth. When the chemicals enter them, your teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods, as well as extremely sharp or sour foods. You may also notice that your teeth react to pressure being put on them. Dentists refer to this condition as dentinal hypersensitivity.

Dentinal hypersensitivity is extremely common, affecting more than one in two people. Even if you’re not having whitening treatments, your teeth may react.


First of all, there is no need to become unduly concerned. For most teeth whitening clients, dentinal hypersensitivity resolves by itself within 48 hours after the treatment.

If you would prefer to prevent the pain from hypersensitivity, consider preparing for your treatment. Switching to toothpaste for sensitive teeth several days before treatment can help. Depending on the brand you choose, your toothpaste either covers the channels in the enamel or desensitizes the nerve ends.

You can also change how you’re using your whitening kit. Try shorter, more regular sessions to limit your exposure to the bleaching agent.

Once you’ve had your treatment, ask your San Francisco or Sunnyvale dentist about gels to reduce sensitivity or specific kinds of toothpaste that will help soothe your teeth. Avoid foods and drinks that trigger a reaction or use a straw for particularly cold drinks.

Nothing can replace a bright smile when it comes to connecting to others and building your self-esteem. If you’re worried about sensitive teeth after teeth whitening, try preparing for your sessions and talk to our team for personalized recommendations.