Is Using Invisalign Trays for Teeth Whitening Burning My Gums?

I am self-whitening my teeth after Invisalign because my dentist’s whitening fee is too expensive, and she is not willing to give me a discount. I kept all my Invisalign trays, so I use the last set for whitening. I bought carbamide peroxide gel and use it as directed. I’ve used the gel for more than a week, and now my gums are red and burning. Have I permanently damaged my gums? Are the Invisalign trays making my gums burn? Thank you. Alondra from Lansing, MI


Thank you for your question. Although some dentists approve of patients using Invisalign trays for teeth whitening, not all agree. We recommend pausing your whitening treatment and letting a dentist examine your teeth and gums.

Why Does Bleaching Gel Burn Your Gums?

When teeth bleaching gel burns your gums, several causes may include:

  • Bleaching trays – Your Invisalign trays may not fit properly. Although the Invisalign trays fit well for aligning your teeth, bleaching gel may be oozing out onto your gums and burning them. Custom trays that fit well seal the gel against your teeth and do not release it onto your gums.
  • Bleaching gel strength – You mentioned that you purchased carbamide peroxide gel. The gel strength may be too intense for your teeth and gums. A lower-strength gel may help.
  • Bleach gel contents – Although you purchased bleaching gel that contains carbamide peroxide, it may contain irritants that burn your gums.
  • Too much bleaching gel – Avoid over-filling the bleaching trays or leaving the gel on too long.

Are Your Burned Gums Permanently Damaged?

Burned gums from bleaching gel may turn white and peel. They will recover in a week or two, but you should discontinue treatment until you see a dentist to determine why they are burning.

When Can You Resume Teeth Whitening?

You can resume teeth whitening when you know what is causing discomfort and are sure that your bleaching trays fit well. Although your dentist’s rates for whitening are more than you want to pay, consider these suggestions and facts.

  • Schedule an exam with your dentist or another dentist to examine your teeth and gums and ensure you do not require treatment to help your gums heal.
  • Check other dentists’ costs for whitening. Some dentists have options to make whitening affordable.
  • A dentist will take impressions of your teeth for custom bleaching trays to whiten your teeth without burning your gums.
  • A dentist will give you a strength of bleaching gel compatible with your teeth and gum sensitivity.

Burba Dental’s cosmetic dentists in Salem, Massachusetts, sponsor this post.

Will Pain in a Broken Tooth Go Away?

My cheek is so swollen I cannot even smile. It’s on the left side of my face, where I have a broken upper molar. My face is so sore that the pain goes up to my eye socket. The tooth had a bad cavity in It, and while I was eating dinner last Saturday, I felt a lot of pain. I kept eating, and eventually, part of the tooth broke. The broken piece had a foul smell, but I saved it. Since the tooth is in the back of my mouth, I was not planning to replace it or doing anything to it because the edges are not rough, and you cannot see the tooth when I smile. Is it normal to have this kind of pain for a broken tooth? Will the pain go away? Thank you. Monte from Chicago


Thank you for your question. Although one of our dentists would need to examine and x-ray your tooth for an accurate diagnosis, we will answer your question about tooth pain.

Will Pain from a Broken Tooth Go Away?

The pain from a broken tooth will not go away until the tooth pulp and nerves inside it die. A dentist needs to treat and restore your teeth to prevent further damage or tooth loss. When the pain goes away, the infection causing facial swelling may have spread to other teeth or your jawbone. Only a dentist can relieve the pain and remove the infection.

A dentist will prescribe antibiotics to ensure the infection is completely out of your system. But without root canal treatment, the condition will not go away. Although you may be anxious about dental appointments, a skilled dentist makes root canal treatment a painless procedure by numbing the area thoroughly. After root canal treatment, the dentist will prepare your tooth for a crown. Talk to a dentist about sedation options if you need help relaxing before the procedure.

If you do not already have a dentist, search online for a dentist with advanced training in cosmetic dentistry who accepts urgent same-day appointments.

The Salem, Massachusetts dentists at Burba Dental Partners sponsor this post.

My Dental Crown Is Crowding Other Teeth

One of my bottom left molars was hurting. My dentist covered it with a crown because she said it could be fractured. The tooth feels fine now, but the two teeth in front of it hurt when I bite down, even on food as soft as rice.

I asked my dentist to adjust the crown because I thought that it could be crowding the two teeth in front of it. She adjusted the crown, but the teeth still hurt. The pain decreases if I put pressure on the teeth with my fingers, but the pain quickly returns. My dentist said she has never had a patient case like mine. I have two other crowns, and I do not have problems with them. I think that something is still wrong with my bite. What could be causing my tooth pain? – Thanks. Tomas from Santa Fe, NM


Thank you for your question.

Your description sounds like your bite is still off.

Pain from decay or infection in your teeth will not improve if you push down on them, so decay or infection is not the problem. Either your gums or the crown is causing your symptoms. A poorly placed crown can push your teeth out of alignment and cause pain.

If your dentist adjusts your bite correctly, you can clench your teeth and put pressure on them without feeling any discomfort. Your dentist might need to adjust other teeth, too. She may be hesitant about adjusting your teeth if she only worked on the tooth that has the crown. Sometimes small shifts in one tooth affect others, and adjusting adjacent teeth is the only way to align your bite correctly.

A misaligned bite can cause a variety of problems, including:

  • TMJ disorder
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Nighttime teeth grinding
  • Jaw pain

Get a second opinion if your dentist is unable to correct your bite. You can look for a dentist with advanced training in occlusion and bite.

The Salem, Massachusetts dentists at Burba Dental Partners sponsor this post.