I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Teeth that are stained by wine, coffee, tea, and cigarettes generally appear yellow or brown. Some of these stains will sit on the outside of the teeth, and a good whitening toothpaste can release some of the discoloration. If your teeth still appear dark after a whitening paste is used, then the stains you see are likely ingrained inside the dentin. These stains are called intrinsic stains, and they can be lightened during a professional tooth-whitening session with a cosmetic dentist. If you have sensitive teeth, then the whitening may cause some discomfort. Keep reading to learn about a few causes of the pain and how you can deal with discomfort at home.
When a professional dental whitening is completed, your dentist will work hard to keep your teeth isolated. This is best to make sure the whitening solution does not get on your gums, lips, tongue, or the other sensitive tissues that line your mouth. In many cases, a highly concentrated hydrogen-peroxide solution will be placed on the teeth. The solution contains a concentration of the peroxide that is between 25% and 40%. This solution is up to four times stronger than the peroxide whitening products sold for home use, and the bleaching agent can burn the mouth. To prevent this from happening, your cosmetic dentist will place a dental dam around the teeth.
When your teeth are isolated, they will not come into contact with your saliva until the treatment is over and the hydrogen peroxide is rinsed away. When your teeth are not hydrated for an extended period of time, they dry out. This can cause some discomfort after the whitening is over. It can take several days for the teeth to fully hydrate, and you may feel some soreness until this happens.
The teeth will rehydrate naturally when they come into contact with saliva. You can help to encourage rehydration by making sure that your mouth remains moist. Drink plenty of water after the whitening. Sipping on water throughout the day is best to encourage hydration, so make sure to carry a water bottle around with you after the tooth-whitening treatment is completed.
Irritated Dental Nerves
Hydrogen-peroxide solutions must absorb into the teeth to whiten the enamel and dentin, and the whitening agents can absorb deeply enough that they reach the dental nerves that sit inside the roots of the teeth. The concentration of peroxide is not strong enough to damage the dental nerves permanently. However, the whitening agent will cause irritation, and this can create some discomfort for several days.
Dental nerves that are already irritated will send strong signals to the brain if you place pressure or stress on your teeth. You should stay away from sharp, hard, and sticky foods for a few days so that stress is minimized. Also, eat and drink foods that are lukewarm or room temperature. Foods that are either hot or cold can cause some discomfort.
If pain and soreness are bothersome to you, then you can take NSAID pain relievers until the discomfort goes away. These medications reduce the chemical signals in the body that tell the brain that your teeth are in a state of distress. Ibuprofen is one of the more popular medications used to treat dental pain, so consider purchasing and using Advil or your local store-brand ibuprofen pain reliever.
If you schedule a tooth-whitening treatment, then you may feel some pain and soreness once the procedure is over. This discomfort can typically be reduced at home. If you want more tips on how to reduce pain after a tooth whitening, speak with your cosmetic dentist, such as one at Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates.