Tooth whitening has been one of the latest trends in modern dentistry. As dentistry has developed so that we can offer a range of cosmetic dentistry solutions, so tooth whitening products seem to be readily available for purchase pretty much everywhere. While this is to some extent exciting – how lucky are we to live in a world where the shade of your teeth can be changed at your command! – there are some risks associated with it. Namely, if you are pursuing a tooth whitening regime without consulting your dentist, you could be at risk of damaging your teeth.
Overuse of tooth whitening products is actually a key culprit in increased tooth sensitivity. Many of these products work by using hydrogen peroxide. This is a strong chemical which can penetrate the enamel of your teeth and irritate the dentin underneath. Because of this, it is so important to follow the given instructions exactly.
In most cases, increased tooth sensitivity is a reversible side effect – simply cease use of the tooth whitening product for a short while. If you return to it and continue to experience this sensitivity, please consult your dentist. It is also worth noting that certain foods may also be responsible for the increased sensitivity and that avoiding these foods could help address this issue. Eliminate refined sugars and acidic foods from your diet. Other positive steps you can take include switching to a soft-bristle toothbrush and making sure to use a fluoride-containing mouthwash (it should also be alcohol-free).
Once enamel is gone, you cannot get it back. What you can do is take care to strengthen the enamel you have left. Consult with your dentist about the best way to do this and make an appropriate plan of action for protecting your teeth.