Adding Calcium to Whitening Gels May Lower Sensitivity

Teeth WhiteningWe’ve discussed here a bit how using whitening toothpastes can cause or worsen tooth sensitivity. To sum up, whitening toothpastes, by their nature, are abrasive to your teeth enamel, which can make your teeth more porous, thereby increasing the risk for nerve exposure. Increased nerve exposure causes painful tooth sensitivity.

A new study has found that whitening gels that contain calcium could reduce the risk the sensitivity significantly. In fact, half of the research participants treated with calcium-fortified whitening gel reported tooth sensitivity.

The study took 40 patients aged 18 and older and treated them in a dental office with teeth whitening gel, some containing calcium and some calcium-free. Both groups exhibited significant and equal tooth color enhancement after the procedures. However, 80 percent of those who had the calcium-free gel claimed to experience tooth sensitivity, while only 40 percent of those who had the calciumified gel reported sensitivity.

This study was limited to in-office whitening, obviously, but the implications are incredible. Since adding calcium to the gel did not affect the whitening effects, it’s possible that calcium could similarly be added to whitening toothpastes to minimize the abrasive effects. It would be great news for both dentists and patients if dentists could recommend teeth whitening toothpastes to their patients without worrying about potential sensitivity problems.