Updated: Nov 4, 2021
I was invited to be a bridesmaid at my best friends' wedding. About a week before the wedding I did an In-office bleaching which used a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than take home trays.
Heat and light activation was used to accelerate the peroxide activity and thus enhance tooth whitening .
After the procedure my teeth looked much whiter but started to feel tingly after I got home. When I opened my mouth to speak I felt a cold rush of air in my mouth.
When I tried to have a drink I felt a sudden sharp pain in my front teeth that lasted for about two or three seconds.
Even the steam from the rice I was having for dinner caused me to feel a sudden shock in my teeth. I became concerned.
I thought that my enamel was breaking down or my enamel suddenly became very thin. I went back to my Dentist. I told him about the experiences I was having.
He then began to explain to me what was happening. He told me that the whitening product flowed through the enamel tubules and worked by lightening the underlying stained tissue.
He also stated that whitening products may cause temporary tooth sensitivity due to dehydration of the tubules.
The tubules can be remineralized by organic material found in my saliva. During the period of teeth whitening it is very important to stay away from any food or drink with color.
Until the teeth are completely re-hydrated they will absorb any color of food or liquid they are exposed to.
The Dental Hygienist also suggested that I stayed away from extremely hot and cold along with sweet and salty substances, to avoid possible irritation of the nerve tissue.
I was advised to apply an anti-sensitivity toothpaste to my teeth for a palliative effect.
Well the Dentist and the Dental Hygienist were both right. My sensitivity went away and I had no hiccups at the wedding.
I later learnt that Carbamide peroxide in water breaks down slowly into hydrogen peroxide and urea.
This accounts for hydrogen peroxide being approximately one-third of its original value. So a 10% Carbamide Peroxide gel is equivalent to about a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide gel.
For individuals with sensitive teeth, carbamide peroxide is a much safer alternative to using hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth.