Does teeth whitening hurt?

Roya Arbab, DDS

Transient temperature sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. Depending on the system of bleaching used, and the strength of the bleaching agent, you may be more or less sensitive. Most bleaching solutions have desensitizing agents in them to help with this side effect.

The most common complaint heard with tooth whitening (no matter what type is used) is sensitive teeth. In order to whiten your teeth, the active ingredient needs to penetrate the tooth structure. The microscopic openings it creates are what increases tooth sensitivity. In most cases, the sensitivity will subside within a few days after you stop whitening. 

If the product is used incorrectly (too much), you may also have sensitive gums as a result of the excess product. 

If you're experiencing something more than sensitivity, you should see your dentist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.