Sensitivity After a Trip to the Dentist

You might find that your teeth are more sensitive after you’ve visited the dentist. Recent dental work, including restorations, crowns, fillings and even a routine scale and clean can sometimes result in sensitive teeth. Your dentist will normally advise if the treatment you are undertaking may cause sensitivity and will suggest ways that you can minimise the discomfort.1

Sensitivity after a cavity filling

Sometimes dental work can inflame the sensitive pulp inside the tooth, causing temporary sensitivity to hot and cold food. This usually resolves within a few weeks but see your dentist if the pain persists or worsens.2

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Sensitivity after a deep clean

During a deep clean, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar above and below the gumline. After deep cleaning, your gums may feel tender and your teeth may feel sensitive for up to a week.3

Sensitivity after whitening

Professional whitening involves painting your teeth with a high concentration of bleach, which may be activated with a UV light or laser for immediate results. After whitening, you teeth may feel more sensitive to hot and cold food but this usually lasts for about two days.4

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Sensitivity after a root canal

Root canal treatments are often used to manage infected teeth by removing the inflamed or infected pulp in the centre of the tooth. After the procedure, the root canal and surrounding gums may be temporarily inflamed and mildly painful.5

Sensitivity after veneers

Veneers are thin layers of material that cover the front of your teeth to improve their appearance. In order to apply a veneer, your dentist will first remove a thin layer of enamel from the tooth so that the veneer does not stick out. As some of the enamel is removed, the affected teeth may feel sensitive to temperature following the procedure.6

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Aftercare for sensitive teeth

Always use a soft toothbrush and consider using toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne, as a part of your daily routine. When you eat or drink something acidic, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water and chew sugar-free gum afterwards, waiting at least 60 minutes before brushing.1

Maintaining a daily routine and booking regular checkups with your dentist will help you to manage your tooth sensitivity. Don’t be afraid of the dentist and make sure you let them know if you’re suffering from sensitive teeth.1

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

1. Australian Dental Association. Ouch! I have sensitive teeth. Available at: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/Your-Dental-Health/Resources-for-Professionals/Resources-for-Adults-31-64/Ouch-I-have-sensitive-teeth-(1)/Ouch!-I-have-sensitive-teeth.pdf.aspx (accessed July 2020).

2. American Association of Endodontists. Tooth pain. Available at: https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/tooth-pain (accessed July 2020). 

3. American Association of Endodontists. Mouth Healthy. Scaling and root planning. Available at: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing (accessed July 2020).

4. Australian Dental Association. Teeth Whitening – Getting the best result for your smile. Available at: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/Your-Dental-Health/Resources-for-Professionals/Resources-for-Teens-12-17/Teeth-whitening-the-best-result-for-your-smile/Teeth-whitening,-getting-the-best-result-for-your-smile.pdf.aspx (accessed July 2020).

5. Queensland Government. Root canal treatment. Available at: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0035/363977/dental_10.pdf (accessed July 2020).

6. Health Direct. Veneers. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/veneers (accessed July 2020).