Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth


If you have sensitive teeth, you may be nervous to try various whitening methods. This is completely understandable, as many whitening techniques can make your sensitive teeth feel even worse!

Fortunately, there are several teeth whitening methods for sensitive teeth. One of which can be done here in our Point Pleasant, NJ office!

Can Sensitive Teeth Be Whitened?

If you have sensitive teeth, you can most likely get them whitened.

Before you start any whitening treatment, consult your dentist to ensure you won’t cause damage. They will also be able to give recommendations and tips based on the best teeth whitening options for your situation.

Why Does Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Sensitivity after whitening is the result of the whitening treatment leaving microscopic pores in your enamel. This is normal and the reason that most whitening treatments can remove more than only surface stains.

Sensitivity usually subsides in a day or two, but full remineralization will take several months with the proper diet and oral care routine. During the remineralization process, your teeth take available calcium and phosphate in your body to fortify themselves.

What Causes General Tooth Sensitivity?

General tooth sensitivity is caused by thin enamel, damage, or exposed roots. The reason all of these cause sensitivity is they reduce the amount of insulation the nerves in your teeth have.

Enamel Thinning

Enamel thinning is almost impossible to prevent. Many things cause it over time.

  • First is over-exposure to acids. Drinking certain juices, carbonated drinks (even sparkling water), and excessive vomiting can cause your tooth enamel to wear down quicker.
  • Enamel also naturally wears down and thins over time. This is caused by eating and cleaning over many years.
  • Several diseases can affect enamel density. Specifically, ones that reduce the amount of calcium and vitamin D in your body or those that limit the absorption of these nutrients.
  • Periodontal disease is another contributor to enamel loss. Bacteria eat away enamel and leave teeth vulnerable to hot and cold.


Tooth damage can come in the form of cracks, chips, or decay. They all allow hot and cold foods and drinks to reach closer to the nerves that allow you to feel pain and temperature.

Exposed Roots

Roots are most commonly exposed as a result of gum recession from periodontal disease. If you find your gums receding, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

What Are the Best Ways to Whiten Sensitive Teeth?

There are plenty of products designed to whiten sensitive teeth.

Here’s what to look for:

  • A short application time. The less time your teeth are exposed to whitening products, the better.
  • Lower concentrations of bleaching agents. Different methods will have stronger (or weaker) concentrations of teeth-whitening ingredients. Pay attention to what makes your tooth sensitivity worse, and avoid any products with high concentrations.
  • Sensitive teeth products. There are a few high-quality toothpastes and mouthwashes designed for those with sensitive teeth. We recommend using those on a daily basis.

To be safe and ensure you don’t cause damage to your teeth, consult your dentist before using any whitening product.

Crest® 3D White Strips Gentle Routine

With thousands of five-star reviews across the internet, Crest® 3D Whitestrips Gentle Routine is one of the most popular whitening choices among those with sensitive teeth.

Effective results require a time commitment of only about 5 minutes per day for around 10 to 20 days. Because Crest® recommends those with teeth sensitivity to choose whitening treatments with lower time requirements, it will take longer to achieve your desired results. So, if you are wanting to whiten your sensitive teeth for a special event, start your treatment at least 20 days prior.

Philips Zoom Whitening

Philips Zoom whitening gel is specially formulated to leave users with little to no sensitivity during or after treatment. It contains ACP (amorphous calcium phosphate), which provides immediate and long-term sensitivity relief.

We provide Philips Zoom treatment as our in-office teeth whitening service. It takes about 45 minutes, and you can quit at any time if you happen to experience discomfort.

Sensodyne True White Toothpaste

Sensodyne is renowned for its gentle yet effective products marketed toward those with sensitive teeth.

Many brands of whitening toothpaste can cause sensitivity over time because they are gritty and whiten teeth through abrasion. While it may not give you the quickest results on the market, Sensodyne True White is one of the safest choices if you have sensitive teeth.

Combining Sensitivity Mouthwash With Whitening Products

Most well-known oral care companies make a mouthwash designed for sensitive teeth.

By regularly using one of the trusted brands, such as Listerine®, Act®, or Sensodyne, you can desensitize your teeth so whitening treatments and toothpaste cause less sensitivity.

Note that the bottle must say “sensitive” or “sensitivity” for this method to work.

While sensitivity products such as mouthwash can dull discomfort, you should be mindful that abrasive toothpaste can cause long-term damage. Wondering if the toothpaste you’re using is too abrasive for your sensitive teeth? Check out this page listing the abrasiveness of popular toothpaste.

Teeth Whitening in Point Pleasant, NJ

Just because you have sensitive teeth doesn’t mean you can’t have whiter teeth.

We want to give everyone a smile they will love! Book an appointment online or call us today!

About the Author

Dr. Joseph Zicchino provides a wide array of cosmetic dentistry services, including Invisalign® Clear Aligners, at his practice in Point Pleasant, NJ. He earned his dental degree from NYU Dental School and established Coastal Dental Group in 2004. For more information call (732) 714-1030 or to schedule an appointment!