Why Do Your Teeth Hurt After Cleaning?

teeth hurt after cleaning


Have you ever experienced tooth sensitivity or discomfort after a routine dental cleaning? You’re not alone. Many people wonder why their teeth hurt after cleaning. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this common issue and provide insights into how you can alleviate the discomfort.

The Dental Cleaning Process

Understanding the Basics

When you visit your dentist for a regular check-up and cleaning, the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. This process is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems.

Probing and Scaling

During the cleaning, the hygienist may use dental instruments to probe and scale your teeth. This helps remove stubborn deposits and ensures your teeth are clean and smooth.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Exposure of Dentin

One of the primary reasons your teeth may hurt after cleaning is the exposure of dentin. Dentin is the layer beneath the tooth enamel and contains microscopic tubules that lead to the tooth’s nerve center. When the cleaning process removes some enamel, dentin becomes more exposed, leading to sensitivity.

Tooth Enamel Erosion

Aggressive cleaning or the use of abrasive cleaning agents can contribute to enamel erosion. Weakening of the enamel can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures and pressure.

Gum Inflammation

If you have gum disease or gingivitis, the cleaning process may irritate your gums. This can lead to tenderness and discomfort in your teeth.

Coping with Post-Cleaning Tooth Sensitivity

Desensitizing Toothpaste

Using a desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce tooth sensitivity. These toothpaste brands contain compounds that block the tubules in the dentin, reducing pain signals to the nerves.

Fluoride Treatment

Your dentist may recommend fluoride treatment after cleaning to strengthen your tooth enamel. This can help minimize sensitivity.

Gentle Brushing

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and gentle brushing techniques to avoid further enamel erosion. Brushing too hard can exacerbate sensitivity.


In conclusion, it’s normal for your teeth to hurt after cleaning due to factors like dentin exposure, enamel erosion, and gum inflammation. However, there are ways to alleviate this discomfort, such as using desensitizing toothpaste, opting for fluoride treatment, and practicing gentle brushing. Remember, maintaining regular dental check-ups is essential for your oral health.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. How long does post-cleaning tooth sensitivity last? Post-cleaning tooth sensitivity usually lasts for a few days. If it persists, consult your dentist.
  2. Can I prevent tooth sensitivity after cleaning? While some sensitivity is common, you can reduce it by following proper oral hygiene and using desensitizing toothpaste.
  3. Is it normal for my gums to bleed after cleaning? Mild gum bleeding may occur, especially if you have gum disease. However, consult your dentist if it’s excessive.
  4. Are there any home remedies for post-cleaning tooth sensitivity? Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek and avoiding very hot or cold foods can provide temporary relief.
  5. How often should I get a dental cleaning? It’s recommended to have a cleaning every six months. However, your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings if you have specific dental issues.

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