At-Home Tooth Whiteners: Minimize Gum Sensitivity During Application

If you have discolored teeth, you might consider using an OTC whitening system to improve your appearance. But if your gums are are sensitive to the chemicals in the system, you might wonder if there's anything you can do to minimize the pain. You can whiten your teeth and minimize the discomfort in your gums with the right information and tips.

Why Is Your Mouth Sensitive to Tooth Whitening Chemicals?

Most tooth whiteners rely on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove stains. Products made with peroxide can irritate sensitive mouth tissues, such as gum tissue and tooth enamel. Peroxide usually creates a chemical action such as bubbling to break down other substances, including food stains and plaque. But in the process, the bubbling action may aggravate tissues.

In addition, if you already have sensitive teeth and gums, you may be more apt to experience sensitivity to tooth whitening chemicals. For example, if your teeth or gums hurt when you drink hot liquids, the tissues may also experience discomfort when exposed to hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. 

You don't have to avoid whitening your teeth because of your sensitivity. You can simply make a few changes in how you whiten your teeth.

How Do You Make Tooth Whitening Less Irritating?

One of the things you can do to reduce your discomfort is to use a whitening treatment that allows you to apply the solution one tooth at a time. Treatments like paint-on gels or pens can be good options for you. You typically use a small brush to apply the whitening solution to your enamel. You can also use the brush to whiten areas close to your gum line without actually touching your gums.

If you still experience irritation in your gums, you may want to visit a dentist for assistance. A dental provider may offer whitening solutions that use less peroxide-based chemicals than the products you purchase at your local retailer. In addition, a dentist can adjust your whitening time to keep your discomfort to a minimum. For example, instead of leaving the solution on your tooth enamel for 20 minutes, you may only need 15 minutes to see great results. 

It's also a good idea to avoid doing anything that might irritate your gums before your treatment, such as drinking coffee or tea. If you have concerns about what to do before your whitening treatment, consult a dentist before your appointment.

For more information about your dental problem, contact a dental provider like BayView Dental Associates today.