Getting porcelain veneers is an excellent way to restore your smile and conceal imperfections if you have chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth, but it’s not uncommon for patients to experience some mild discomfort in the days or weeks following the procedure. Experiencing some minor discomfort or pain after undergoing a dental veneers procedure is common. The good news is that when done properly, there should not be any long-term tooth sensitivity after veneers.
Watch our video for a quick overview of what’s normal when it comes to sensitive teeth after getting veneers and read further to get more details.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity After Veneers
There are two main causes of tooth pain after veneers: enamel loss and improper bite. The good news is that the pain is temporary and can usually be managed with mild pain medications and other basic precautions.
The first and most prominent cause is the loss of tooth enamel. Before your porcelain veneer is placed, the dentist needs to shave off about .5mm of thickness so that the cap rests flush with the rest of the teeth. This can cause short-term sensitivity as the underlying nerve is stressed. After the initial sensitivity wears off, you may still experience some degree of hot or cold sensitivity since there is less enamel covering the nerve.
Improper bite is the other major cause of sensitive teeth after veneers. It takes most patients a few days to adjust their bite after receiving a veneer. Improper bite can lead to irritation and increased sensitivity, but this problem usually corrects itself after a few days. If you’re having difficulty aligning your bite, speak to your dentist. They may be able to fix the problem with a few minor adjustments.
Should I Expect Pain After Veneers?
Tooth sensitivity after veneers is common, but everyone’s experience is different. Here are a few of the common temporary after-effects:
Temperature sensitivity. The most common effects include hot or cold sensitivity, due largely to the loss of enamel.
Sore gums. Just as your teeth may experience some discomfort, your gums may be sore for a few days.
Speech difficulties. A new veneer may affect your speech for a few days as your brain adapts to the amended size and shape of the tooth.
Increased salivation. As you adjust to speaking with the new veneer in place, you may also produce more saliva for a few days.
Remember that all of these effects are normal and temporary.
How Long Will I Experience Sensitivity?
For most people, the discomfort associated with veneers subsides within one to two weeks. In rare instances, though, it’s possible to experience longer-term problems with veneers. Watch out for warning signs such as:
Pain or sensitivity lasting longer than two weeks
An unexplained toothache beneath the veneer
A loose veneer (debonding)
An uneven or misaligned bite
A crack or chip in the veneer
If symptoms do not subside, speak to your dentist right away.
How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth After Veneers
If you’re concerned about pain or tooth sensitivity after veneers, there are few steps you can take to minimize your discomfort.
Brush your teeth after each meal with a desensitizing toothpaste; your dentist should be able to recommend one.
Avoid hard foods like peanut brittle, hard candy, corn on the cob, and anything that can place excess pressure on your teeth.
Consider drinking room-temperature liquids for a few days if your teeth are particularly sensitive to cold.
Avoid overly sweet and spicy foods and drinks for a few days, as these can also irritate sensitive teeth.
Avoid compulsive chewing and grinding behaviors. Invest in a mouth guard if you grind your teeth at night, and don’t chew on things like pencils and fingernails.
Place one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth up to three times a day to minimize discomfort and swelling.
Take a mild pain medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen according to the directions on the label.
While these measures won’t completely eliminate the sensitivity that’s common after a veneers treatment, they can help to make the discomfort more manageable.
Don’t Let Sensitivity Stop You From Getting Veneers
If you’re considering a new smile with porcelain veneers, don’t let the possibility of discomfort deter you. Tooth sensitivity after veneers is normal and not an indication of serious problems. The discomfort lasts just a few days, but the benefits last for decades.
Make sure to choose an experienced, reputable cosmetic dentist who specializes in the treatment, and choose porcelain veneers for the best quality and greatest longevity. Enjoy your new smile!