I've been very fortunate, my whole life, to have healthy teeth that really don't cause me any problems or concerns. The only thing about my teeth that really bugs me is their color. Blame it on the media where all of the models and actors have these gorgeous, white smiles. Compared to them, my teeth look dull. So, I'm one of those people who bleaches their teeth.
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The results are awesome, but they don't last forever. So I end up redoing the procedure every year or so. And, each time I do, I suffer a side effect from the bleaching - sensitive teeth. Sometimes mild, sometimes severe. This is a perfectly normal side effect from the bleaching process. After all, the bleach works by opening up the pores of the teeth. But those open pores leave the teeth in a vulnerable state, where hot and cold sensitivity is magnified. Everybody reacts differently, and some are more sensitive than others. Unfortunately for me, I seem to be very sensitive. For a few dayss after bleaching, my teeth bother me. Especially in the presence of anything cold. Even a gentle breeze can be enough to cause me to jump.
So, during that period of time, I use Sensodyne toothpaste products. Twice a day, I brush with Sensodyne and the tooth sensitivity is decreased. It doesn't disappear altogether, but it's greatly improved.
Specifically, I use Sensodyne Maximum Strength, Fresh Mint Flavor. This is a green and white paste + gel combination product. It smells wonderfully minty. But the mint taste is not nearly as strong as other such products. In fact, I find myself brushing longer with this product because I don't get that immediate rush of strong, fresh, minty breath that I enjoy with other products.
But the real reason to use this product is because it contains 5% potassium nitrate - an anti-hypersensitivity product. Potassium nitrate remineralizes the tooth surface by diffusing into the open pores. In other words, it works to close those pores back up after they've been opened.
So how does it work?
Thankfully, it works quite well. Tooth sensitivity starts to decrease with the first application, and continues with each application thereafter. After just a few days, my teeth are no longer hyper sensitive, and I can go back to a regular toothpaste.
Note that hyper sensitivity can have many causes, besides bleaching. Gum damage, tooth decay, grinding your teeth, cracked teeth, decreased saliva flow, and dehydration can all lead to the problem. I would suggest that if your teeth suddenly start to feel overly sensitive, talk to your dentist to get to the root (yes, pun intended) of the problem. Hopefully it's something minor that will go away on its own. And while you're waiting, use Sensodyne products to minimize the discomfort.
My only complaint about this product is that the flavor isn't as strong as I would like. But otherwise, I'm happy with this product, and will use it any time my teeth are overly sensitive.
Want some information about bleaching your teeth? See my review of ACP 38% Teeth-Whitening Bleach.
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