Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth: Methods and Precautions

05/15/23 12 MIN Read

A radiant, beautiful smile enhances self-confidence. However, teeth whitening for sensitive teeth can induce discomfort. Fear not, as attaining pearly whites remains achievable. This article delves into the essentials of teeth whitening for individuals with sensitive teeth.

Understanding Teeth Sensitivity

Teeth sensitivity is a common dental problem, affecting one in every eight people. It occurs when the enamel, which is the hard outer layer of the tooth, wears away, exposing the dentin layer underneath. Dentin is a softer layer that contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerve of the tooth, causing sensitivity when exposed to hot, cold, or acidic foods or drinks.

There are several reasons why teeth sensitivity can occur. It can be due to gum recession, enamel erosion, tooth decay, or even brushing your teeth too hard. Therefore, it’s crucial to determine the underlying cause of your sensitivity to treat it properly.

-> How to Treat Sensitive Teeth? Tips and Remedies

Can Sensitive Teeth Get Whitening Treatment?

Yes, people with sensitive teeth can get a teeth whitening treatment, but it’s important to choose the right method and take some precautions to avoid any discomfort or damage. Some whitening treatments can cause sensitivity or even damage to the teeth and gums, so it’s important to consult with a dentist before starting any treatment.

The Right Teeth Whitening Method for Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth are sensitive, you might be hesitant to try whitening. However, there are several teeth whitening methods that are gentle enough for sensitive teeth:

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is a gentle way to whiten your teeth over time. It contains a mild abrasive that can remove surface stains, but it won’t penetrate deep into the enamel like other whitening methods.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are a more effective way to whiten your teeth than toothpaste, but they can still cause sensitivity. Look for a brand that is specifically designed for sensitive teeth, and use them only as directed.

Custom Trays 

Custom trays, made by a dentist, provide a more effective and customizable way to whiten your teeth. A whitening gel is applied to the trays, which are then worn over your teeth for a designated amount of time. This method can provide more dramatic results than toothpaste or strips.

In-office Whitening

For those looking for a quick and powerful solution, in-office whitening may be the best option. This method is performed by a dental professional and uses a strong whitening agent to give you a noticeably whiter smile in just one visit. If sensitivity is a concern, the dentist can also apply a desensitizing agent to reduce discomfort.

Precautions for Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth

Here are some precautions to take when getting a teeth whitening treatment for sensitive teeth:

Consult your Dentist

Before starting any teeth whitening treatment, it’s essential to consult your dentist to evaluate your oral health and discuss the best approach for your situation. Your dentist can recommend a suitable whitening treatment that is safe for your sensitive teeth.

Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Before and after the teeth whitening procedure, use a desensitizing toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to reduce tooth sensitivity.

Choose a Gentle Whitening Treatment

There are several teeth whitening treatments available, such as in-office whitening, at-home whitening trays, and whitening strips. If you have sensitive teeth, it’s best to choose a gentler whitening treatment, such as at-home whitening trays or whitening strips, which have lower concentrations of bleaching agents.

Don’t Overdo It

Overuse of teeth whitening products can damage tooth enamel and increase tooth sensitivity. Follow the instructions provided by your dentist or the whitening product manufacturer and avoid overusing the product.

Avoid Acidic or Staining Foods and Drinks

During and after the teeth whitening treatment, avoid consuming acidic or staining foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, citrus fruits, and tomato sauce. These can worsen tooth sensitivity and cause discoloration.

Take Breaks

If you experience any discomfort or pain during the teeth whitening treatment, take a break or reduce the treatment time to avoid aggravating tooth sensitivity.

=> Maybe you’ll be interested in: What Side Effects Does Teeth Whitening Have?


Teeth whitening can be a great way to boost your confidence and feel better about your smile, even with having sensitive teeth. Make sure to choose the right method and take precautions to avoid any discomfort or damage. 

Our experienced team of professionals at the NYC Dental Smile Team will help you transform your smile and start living life to the fullest.

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Lamberti, B. (2023, February 2). How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last? | Abington Center. Abington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. https://abingtoncenter.com/how-long-does-teeth-whitening-last/

Taşkın, D. C. (2022, April 12). Types of teeth whitening: what’s the best one for you? Find out here! Dental Treatment Turkey. https://dentfixturkey.com/types-of-teeth-whitening/

Dentistry, T. (2020, September 11). Sensitive Teeth After Whitening | Triangle Dentistry. Triangle Dentistry. https://triangledentistry.com/sensitive-teeth-after-whitening/

How to deal with teeth whitening sensitivity – Hamilton Dental Centre. (2022, February 28). Hamilton Dental Centre. https://www.thehamiltondentist.co.nz/news/sensitivity-after-teeth-whitening/

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