Can Crest Whitestrips Cause a Tooth to Need a Root Canal Treatment?

I had a tooth that had been knocked a bit backward and an oral surgeon helped get it back in place. After a while, it began to turn gray. I asked my dentist about whitening the tooth and he suggested I try Crest Whitestrips. I did, but after a week my tooth started to hurt. I went back to my dentist and he thinks I need a root canal treatment on that tooth. I’m not sure. Could the whitening strips have caused this?


Dear Leslie,

woman grabbing her jaw in pain in need of an emergency dentist

I don’t think the Crest Whitestrips would have caused this. While very rare, when someone gets professional strength teeth whitening, will someone need a root canal treatment that is usually from whitening while they have a cavity.

That being said, Whitestrips, because they are over the counter and can be used without the supervision of a dentist, have a much weaker strength of whitening. I would be very surprised if that was the cause.

I’m going to recommend you get a second opinion on this. Your dentist started out by suggesting the wrong treatment option. Teeth whitening will whiten your teeth evenly. This means the darker tooth will always be darker than the other teeth because they whiten at the same level.

That is a pretty basic mistake, which gives me some doubts about your dentist’s competence. I would definitely see another dentist before moving forward with a root canal treatment. There are dentists who offer free second opinions, which will help you financially if that is an issue.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.