I was in an accident that caused a tooth to become recessed. An oral surgeon put it back into place, but it slowly turned dark and the gum is a bit recessed. I went to my dentist to ask about whitening the tooth. He suggested Crest Whitestrips. I used it for a little over a week before I started having some pain in the darkened tooth. I stopped using the strips, but that did not stop the pain. It’s been a week since I stopped the white strips. It does not hurt with pressure but is sensitive to hot and cold. My dentist thinks I need a root canal treatment. Was this caused by the whitening? If so, is that a risk my dentist should have warned me about?
The sensitivity to cold indicates the tooth is irritated. The sensitivity to heat tells me the tooth may need some help. Your dentist’s suggestion to whitening the teeth, especially with Crest Whitestrips, was not a great one. Your dentist does not seem to have an understanding of how teeth whitening works. First, teeth whitening will bleach your teeth evenly. That means this tooth would still have been darker than the rest of them. Second, while Crest Whitestrips work, they are very weak. It would take them a long time to make any difference at all in the teeth.
A tooth infection leading to a root canal treatment is not really a risk with teeth whitening. There are some reports of an already compromised tooth being pushed over the cliff when teeth whitening took place. Your tooth was already compromised, but Crest Whitestrips are so mild that I would have a hard time thinking that would be the issue.
You did say there was some gum separation. It is more likely that some bacteria got in there which caused the issue. My recommendation is for you to get a second opinion. You can go to another dentist or a root canal specialist.
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