My Teeth Hurt After Teeth Whitening – Is This Normal?

Teeth whitening procedures have become one of the most common procedures in dental offices around the country. Professional whitening treatments are very different from the kits people use at home and can make a huge difference since they use a combination of bleaching agent and laser technology. This dual action provides much more intense whitening that really makes a big difference. After a treatment is over, some people report mild to moderate pain as a side effect. If you’re feeling this, you shouldn’t be alarmed. It’s actually a very common occurrence after the procedure. Because of the process used in teeth whitening, sensitivity can occur immediately following the procedure. The high intensity lasers used in a laser whitening session combined with the strong bleaching agents are the causes of this sensitivity. Luckily, it only lasts for 24 to 48 hours at most. After this period, sensitivity levels will return to normal and most of the pain will have passed. The pain is rarely severe and can usually be controlled with Advil or Tylenol. Some dentists give this to their patients before the procedure begins to help prevent the pain from occurring. Another method some doctors use to reduce pain is to have the patient brush with sensitive teeth toothpaste like Sensodyne. This helps guard the nerves against sensitivity and can have a big impact on the overall pain levels after a whitening session. Combined with mild over-the-counter pain relievers, this can usually curb and control nearly all of the pain one may experience after tooth whitening. More serious, long-term, and intensive pain may be caused by having receding gums and having the process take place because it will have a huge impact on the exposed nerves or roots. So in short, yes, it is in fact quite normal for your teeth to hurt somewhat after a teeth whitening procedure. Given time, that pain will diminish and vanish completely so you should have no need for concern unless the pain persists for several days following the procedure. If this occurs, contacting your dentist may be a good idea. Tooth whitening is a great way to get the smile you have always wanted, so don’t hesitate to take the time to look into what it offers. And if you’re experiencing discomfort after the procedure – don’t worry. It’s normal.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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