Whitening Isn't Always Easy

Life is full of problems that can lead to stained teeth. From the finer things in life, such as good, dark teas and coffee to medical conditions that lead to easy staining, being on top of whitening can be a full-time job well beyond brushing your teeth. If you have a few habits that lead to noticeably stained teeth or have problems with some whitening products, here's a few angles of the teeth whitening world that could help you figure out your unique solution.

Help! Whitening Products Hurt!

Some people have naturally sensitive teeth. It could be a genetic issue that leaves their nerves more susceptible to temperature changes, or the nerves could be overactive. Enamel and other protective layers could have been worn away, or there could be nothing wrong at all. It all depends on the person, but here are a few whitening troubleshooting steps.

If your product has menthol, eucalyptol, or icilin, you're basically getting pain from cold sensations. Cell membranes have proteins called receptors, which react in different ways depending on what they may be exposed to. With products such as menthol, a receptor called TRPM8 reacts and delivers a cold sensation. It's not really cold, but it triggers a sensation that reports to your brain as cold.

Yeah, living creatures are weird.

Alcohol-Based Products Cause Multiple Issues

Anything with alcohol can cool the surface of your teeth and mouth in general, as alcohols evaporate quickly. This is a cooling effect from heat transfer that you may notice with rubbing alcohol as well The sensation of this evaporation is a cooling feeling. Sorbitol or xylitol are two ingredients that lead to this feeling, and are actually used instead of menthol and eucalyptol in the previous example for chewing gum and mint products for a cooling sensation.

There's nothing wrong with you if the previous examples are the culprit. You might be more sensitive either mentally or by the structure of your teeth, but those are extreme cases of ingredients being too much for some people. If your teeth are actually damaged, the cooling effects can lead to more severe pain. Cavities that you may not have noticed can be more sensitive as well, and it's a good warning sign to get to the dentist as soon as possible. 

Don't try to guess at the problem too much, especially if you're experiencing pain. Contact a dentist like Beck Pearce Dental for alternatives to your whitening products, a whitening service, or a deeper analysis of other dental issues you may have.