Does Teeth Whitening Make Your Teeth Sensitive?

Updated on November 10, 2023

Almost everybody wants strong, healthy, bright, and white teeth. Your teeth may, however, be stained or discolored for one reason or another. One of the widely discussed teeth whitening concerns is whether it’ll make your teeth sensitive. If for that reason, you’ve ever been discouraged from getting yours whitened, then you may be interested in this article. 

What’s Teeth Whitening? 

Teeth whitening is also known as teeth bleaching. It’s a process whereby the color of your teeth is lightened. Whitening is often ideal when your teeth have become yellowed or brownish over time for reasons such as smoking. Whitening can be attained by changing the inner or outer color of your teeth’ enamel. 

Teeth whitening is generally considered safe, although it could have side effects like any other medical procedure, according to this dentist who does laser teeth whitening in Sydney.  

Depending on the complexity and density of the stains, there’re many options for teeth whitening. It’s therefore usually advisable to consult your dentist before you consider which option to take for teeth whitening. Your dentist may refer you to specialist centers like Teeth Whitening Bankstown and many others like them for the prescribed procedure. 

Types of Tooth Whitening Procedures 

There are three main categories in teeth whitening, which are:  

  1. Whitening that your dentist administers. 
  1. Whitening products to use at home, which your dentist could issue. 
  1. Products that you could get over the counter or make at home. 

Your dentist will often choose the best option for your needs. But in case you’re confused about available options for teeth whitening, there’re various options and products available, including: 

  1. Custom-fit tray bleaching  in which trays containing whitening chemicals are fitted to your teeth for a prescribed period. The tray ensures that the whitening substances remain in place for maximum effectiveness.  
  1. Whitening strips  easily available strips of whitening materials that are stuck on the teeth for a period of time. They’re flexible and used mainly for moderate discoloration.  
  1. Whitening toothpaste – they’re said to work as whitening agents. The results of whitening toothpaste can be seen after some time of use.  
  1. Laser bleaching  Laser is used to activate whitening agents, which are used in the treatment process.  
  1. Other home-based methods  include some home remedies such as charcoal, which are believed to be effective for removing stains from teeth. 

A treatment plan which suits your needs is always recommended. The option you choose for your teeth whitening should be based on factors such as: 

  • your type of discoloration 
  • the cost of getting the treatment 
  • which treatment method you’re going to have 
  • your age 
  • your dental health – whether you’ve had fillings or crowns. 

As highlighted earlier, it’s always essential to consult your dentist about whitening methods before picking one. You’ll likely discuss a few different approaches to whitening teeth. 

How Teeth Whitening Works 

During most whitening processes, peroxides like carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are used. Because they contain volatile oxygen molecules when they touch the tooth’s surface, they react by breaking down the chemicals that hold the stains onto your tooth’s enamel. This has been said to bleaches the stains away, effectively restoring the tooth’s white appearance.  AdobeStock 265971893 scaled

Adding fluoride to a teeth whitener is believed to help prevent the weakening of your teeth during the whitening process. It’s also believed to reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity after the teeth whitening procedure.  

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening 

The two possible side-effects that are common with teeth whitening are teeth sensitivity and gum irritation. After a teeth whitening procedure, you may experience some sensitivity. This is normally during the first or second treatment and typically resolves itself after a day or two. The contact of whitening agents with your gums could cause an irritation that normally goes away after the treatment.  

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity after TeethWhitening? 

During a teeth-whitening process, minerals within your tooth’s enamel could become temporarily exposed, causing some very tiny microtubules within the teeth to appear on the surface. 

These tubules are microscopic channels that lead to the center of the teeth where dental nerves are. When dentinal tubules are touched, you could feel some uncomfortable irritation. Minerals, however, generally replenish within a few days of teeth whitening, and the tooth sensitivity typically resolves. 

The Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity 

Some of the most common symptoms of tooth sensitivity include: 

  • Sudden shooting pain in the teeth 
  • A sudden tooth pain when the teeth are exposed to temperature changes 
  • Tooth pain when eating 

Reducing Tooth Sensitivity after TeethWhitening 

Typically, tooth sensitivity after a tooth-whitening procedure will resolve within a few days. Nonetheless, there’re things you could do to help alleviate tooth sensitivity after whitening. These include: 

  • Using a sensitive formula toothpaste 
  • Using a soft toothbrush 
  • Rinsing and brush with fluoride-based products 
  • Avoiding foods and drinks that are either too hot or too cold 
  • Avoiding foods and drinks that are too spicy or too sweet. 


Everybody wants to have a nice bright smile, but unfortunately, your teeth can sometimes let you down. They tend to lose their whiteness over time due to stains and the build-up of dirt and pluck.  

Teeth-whitening can help bring back your smile. It cosmetically removes the discoloration of your teeth. As discussed in this article, it’s possible to get tooth sensitivity after whitening your teeth, but it’s not anything to worry about. It’s often short-lived. If done properly, whitening will, however, not cause your teeth to be sensitive.