Tips To Reduce Gum Discomfort During Whitening Treatments

Posted on: 17 May 2017

If you have started working to whiten your teeth at home with a whitening gel, then you may notice a few side effects. One negative effect of dental whitening is gum sensitivity. If you notice this problem, then there are a few things you can do to minimize your discomfort. Keep reading to learn about a few good options.

Lower The Whitening Concentration

If you have started your whitening treatments with the help of your general or cosmetic dentist, then the professional can provide you with the gel to apply to your teeth. This gel is often a bit stronger than the gels you purchase from your local pharmacy, and this means the whitening treatment will progress more quickly. If your teeth are extremely stained, then your dentist may provide you with a whitening gel with a concentration at or above 20%. This means that the solution contains 20% carbamide peroxide. This substance is very similar to hydrogen peroxide, and it can burn the tissues of the mouth if it remains in direct contact with them for some time. 

If your gums are sensitive after whitening, then it is wise to use a lower concentration of the whitening gel. Speak with your dentist to see if he can provide you with a gel that has a much lower 10% or 15% concentration of the peroxide. Keep in mind that most over the counter products have around a 10% concentration, so you will see much slower whitening when this sort of gel is used. 

Have Custom Trays Made

If you want to start your whitening as soon as possible, then you may have opted for the one-size-fits-most trays. These trays allow you to place the whitening gel in the tray and then set the trays over the teeth. However, if your teeth are small or if you have a generally narrow dental ridge, then the trays may not fit correctly. The trays may scrape or scratch the gums, or they may force the whitening gel against the soft tissues of the mouth. 

When you put the trays in your mouth, look to see if the plastic covers your gums by more than one-eighth of an inch. If they do, then they are too big. Speak with your dental professional about creating custom trays for your mouth. This will help to keep the whitening gel on the teeth where it belongs. 

It can take a week or more to receive your custom trays. You should be patient and stop your whitening treatments until your new trays arrive. For more tips, talk with your dentist about the teeth whitening services offered in the office.