Teeth whitening should not hurt if performed properly. However, some people can develop something called bleaching sensitivity when undergoing a peroxide-based bleaching session. Bleaching sensitivity can occur in healthy teeth, and is typically short-lived and self-limiting. You can reduce your risk of bleaching-related sensitivity by using desensitizing toothpaste in the days leading up to your whitening treatment, and getting a fluoride treatment after your procedure. Some patients might also benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste. If necessary, limit hot and cold foods and beverages to avoid stimulating your teeth more than necessary until the sensitivity has receded.
Pain can occur if you whiten while having untreated dental problems. This is most likely to occur with over-the-counter whitening products that you apply without having a dental checkup first. The bleaching gel or solution can access exposed dentin through a cavity or damaged restoration, and activate the nerve endings in the pulp. This can trigger severe pain and lead to irreversible pulp damage. For this reason, we recommend scheduling a routine dental exam and cleaning before undergoing any whitening treatment. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our teeth whitening doctor in Los Angeles.