Theriot Family Dental

Did Crest Whitestrips Cause Me to Need a Root Canal Treatment?

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I had a front incisor damaged in an accident years ago which pushed it back from my other teeth. I spoke to my dentist about wanting to whiten my teeth and he suggested Crest Whitestrips. I used it for 7 days without a problem but then started having pain at the site of the tooth that is receeded. I went to see my dentist and he ran some tests. The tooth had sensitivity for several minutes after the cold test. He said that is an indication that the tooth needs a root canal treatment. I don’t understand how this could happen just from using Crest Whitestrips. Have you heard of this? Do I really need a root canal treatment?


Dear Alexis,

teeth whitening trays
Teeth Whitening Trays

Let’s start with your last question. If you are having sensitivity for several minutes after a cold test, then it is a good indication that you need a root canal treatment. While I don’t agree with your dentist suggesting Crest Whitestrips, for reasons I will explain in a moment, I think he was spot on in his diagnosis of the pain in your tooth.

Now, would this be the result of the Whitestrips? I will say upfront that it is highly unusual for this to happen because over the counter whitening kits are significantly weaker than what you would get with professional teeth whitening. I’ve only known of one other case where a root canal treatment resulted in its use, however, this person used it outside the advised directions.

Your situation is slightly different than the norm, however. You said that you have a receding tooth. This could mean that some of the dentist from that tooth is exposed. That could lead to the problem you are facing.

Crest Whitestrips was not the best option for you. The Whitestrips only reach your front six teeth and it’s just a piece of pliable material coated with the whitening gel. It does not fit flush with the teeth. Even if it did, with this one tooth pushed back, the Whitestrips would never reach that one tooth. It would always be darker than the rest of them.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.