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Why do teeth hurt after teeth whitening?

If you have recently had your teeth professionallly whitened then they may be feeling hyper-sensitive or borderline painful. This is completely normal and the sensitivity will gradually cease around 48 hours after your treatment took place.

If after 48 hours you're still experiencing pain or high levels of sensitivity then its worth contacting the dentist that performed your whitening treatment.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Your teeth are sensitive because professional teeth whitening involves using significantly higher levels of peroxide than that which you will find in products that you may have used in the past such as "whitening" toothpastes or mouthwashes. The peroxide effectively bleaches your teeth by soaking through their enamel layer. The peroxide then penetrates the dentine in your tooth making it whiter. A consequence of this is that the roots of your teeth become exposed to elements and therefore more likely to respond to changes in temperature and the contents of your mouth. It completely temporary but it can take a few days to settle down.

Haven't had professional whitening but teeth still hurt?

If your teeth are sensitive after whitening but you haven't had professional treatment then you should consult your dentist for an accurate diagnosis. However, the reason is probably one or more of the following:

- Excessive whitening: It is possible to use whitening products in excess. Even products such as whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes and whitening toothbrushes if used everyday can gradually thin the enamel on your teeth and increase sensitivity. If you're using whitening strips and / or home whitening kits too frequently then they too will damage the enamel on your teeth. If you think that you may be using whitening products in excess then try to reduce the frequency in which you use them or stop altogether. Not everyones oral condition makes them suitable for teeth whitening.

- Injury, infection or decay: It is possible that the pain you're feeling is related to an injury, infection or decay within your mouth or tooth. The chemicals used in teeth whitening products will irritate cuts, grazes, infections or tooth decay which is why you should always consult a dentist prior to using whitening treatments. If you think this may be what is causing your pain or sensitivty then consult your a dentist as soon as possible as if not treated then the pain could become worse or linger for longer than necessary.

- Poor whitening product or service provider: Unfortunately, despite every warning, many people try to cut corners or costs and are tempted into buying "bargain" whitening products or treatments online, from mobile beauticians or beauty clinics thinking they're getting the same thing they'd get from a dentist. Sadly this isn't true and if you did this then it is possible that a whitening product with a poor or even dangerous chemical mix was used. Its also likely that the person performing the treatment didn't fully understand what they were doing. Only dentists are qualified and approved to professionally whiten teeth and use products that have been checked for safety. If you suspect that you may have used a poor product or service provider for whitening then consult your dentist immediately so that they can assess your oral condition.


Teeth whitening at Osborne Family Dentists

Osborne Family Dentists can provide all of the advice that you need in relation to the safe whitening of your teeth and what the best options are for you. Our cosmetic teeth whitening treatments are available from £395 and this includes an initial free consultation to discuss your needs.

Contact us

Tel: 0191 230 4565 Email:

Newcastle dentist clinic: 16-18 Hood Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6JQ

North Shields dentist clinic: 3 Nile Street, North Shields, NE29 0BE

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