It is not uncommon to hear people complain about sensitivity in the tooth after using peroxide based teeth whitening kits. Whether you use DIY at home products or go to your dentist to have the procedure done in-office, the product used often contains some amount of peroxide. We all different tolerance levels.
Peroxide is a bleaching agent that removes stains from the teeth through the process of oxidization. It penetrates deep into the enamel to remove stains and does cause some irritation to the worn out areas of the tooth. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information “The most commonly seen side effects are tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation, which are usually mild to moderate and transient.” Clinical studies have found that some individuals experience increased tooth sensitivity at the beginning of the treatment and continue doing so for a few days. The NCBI also offers that to date “there is no evidence of significant health risks associated with tooth whitening; however, potential adverse effects can occur with inappropriate application, abuse, or the use of inappropriate whitening products.”
Are There Any Alternatives?
There is no denying that some users experience some amount of discomfort when they use peroxide based products. The discomforts, although it is said will disappear shortly afterwards, cause some people to shy away from peroxide-based teeth whitening products. The teeth whitening kit from Emoyeni seems to be a favorite go-to whitener for people who do not care to deal with the issue of tooth sensitivity. It’s not easy trying to flash your brilliant pearly whites only to grimace in pain as the air hits it and deliver a cramping feeling to the nerves of the affected tooth.
A quick look at the Amazon reviews for this product shows people’s satisfaction with the ability of the product to whiten their teeth without causing sensitivity. One customer wrote, “With consistent use of the Emoyeni pen, I see that my teeth are gradually becoming brighter. I have highly sensitive teeth, so I was cautious initially about using a whitening pen. The typical peroxide-based whitening gels tend to cause sharp pain if applied where enamel has worn thin. Using this pen was easy and painless, and the gel tasted surprisingly pleasant. I intend to incorporate this pen in my nightly brushing routine.”
Are You Bleaching or Whitening Your Teeth?
Although they are used interchangeably, tooth whitening and tooth bleaching are two different procedures. According to the international Organization for Standardization (ISO), tooth bleaching is the, “removal of intrinsic or acquired discolorations of natural teeth through the use of chemicals, sometimes in combination with application of auxiliary means”.
In other words, bleaching occurs when we use products that remove stains that were acquired from the things we drink or chew on. Bleaching changes the color of the tooth. The FDA classifies products that will whiten the teeth beyond their natural color as bleaching products. These products will contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, the ingredients that cause irritation and sensitivity.
Tooth whitening takes place when the tooth is restored to its natural color when stains and debris are removed from its surface. Toothpastes, teeth whitening kits and mouth rinses are among the products used for tooth whitening.
For in-house visits, the dentist will adjust the percentage of carbamide peroxide to the tolerance level of his client. Dentalhealth.org note that the concentration of the bleaching agent used for in-office products usually range between 25% to 40% while Webmd.com notes it as 15 to 43% for in-0ffice products and 3 – 20% for at-home systems. Bleaching products may also contain other ingredients that are meant to help lessen sensitivity and strengthen the teeth.