Do Teeth Whiteners Damage A Tooth's Nerve?

The answer to this question is quite dicey indeed. As of this date, no concrete evidence has been found to support the fact that there is an adverse effect of teeth whitening on the tooth nerves.


As teeth whitening treatment does not reach out to the inner layers of a tooth, there is no question of effect on the tooth’s nerves. However, there have been many reports of tooth sensitivity, which is a common side effect of a whitening treatment that cannot be overlooked.


What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is probably one of the commonest of all oral health problems, affecting millions and millions of individuals in a year. Sensitivity basically refers to the pain and discomfort experienced to the teeth after eating something sweet, cold or hot things. Sweets, hot drinks and ice cream could become a nightmare for people who have sensitivity issues. Some people who suffer from tooth sensitivity problems will often experience some discomfort from flossing or brushing as well.

There are some common causes of tooth sensitivity, which results because of exposure to the open environment. The inner part of the teeth along with the nerve system is exposed due to improper brushing technique, and eventually the nerves are damaged.


Tooth sensitivity has been caused due to prolonged teeth whitening treatment, which suggests that it is possible that whitening might cause some damage to the nerves. However, there is nothing that can prove to be solid evidence in this regard.


Tooth Nerve

Our oral cavity comprises of 32  teeth on an average. Each of these tooth have their own unique functions, such as cutting, shearing, grinding and masticating. The tooth nerve is basically the dental pulp, which is only effected once exposed to the surface. It is one of the most complicated organs that are composed of layers of connective tissues, nerve axons and blood vessels. Only when the nerves are exposed due to some reason, could be poor hygiene or wear and tear, teeth whitening treatment can prove to be damaging.

Otherwise, there is no way that a whitening treatment could reach out to the nerves by penetrating through all the layers of tissues and blood vessels.
There are some tooth nerves that are usually more affected as a result of traumatic injuries; inferior alveolar nerve is one such nerve that is more injured than others. It causes tingling sensation, numbness, pain and even burning sensations. When the entire nerve tends to be injured, the result can be terribly painful.


Precautions post teeth whitening

People who have medical history of dental problems related to the nerves should be extremely careful about a teeth whitening treatment. It is highly possible that the condition will aggravate further and the nerves will be damaged.

Teeth whitening treatment is performed with the help of chemical ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that has a bleaching effect on the upper layers of teeth. If the same effect is given to the nerves, which are usually delicate and have a different purpose, it is obviously that the result would be adverse.

Nonetheless, in such cases, individuals should be alert and careful about their condition and about the best ways to treat them as well.

In order to maintain good oral health, everyone must indulge in routine dental check up from time to time; maintaining proper oral hygiene and following proper brushing techniques. This way it will be possible to relieve all these problems and maintain proper care of teeth and overall oral health too.


Finally, visiting a dentist before employing any teeth whitening treatment would be the best way to ensure safety.

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