Pain Management & Anesthesia

April JADA finds administering ibuprofen, potassium fluoride before bleaching reduces sensitivity

Risk of experiencing moderate or severe sensitivity 4 times higher in placebo group


Preemptively administering ibuprofen and potassium fluoride may help reduce pain associated with tooth sensitivity after bleaching, according to a study published in the April issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

The study, “Preemptive Use of Ibuprofen and Desensitizer Decreases Immediate Tooth Sensitivity After In-Office Bleaching: A Triple-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial,” evaluated the analgesic effect of 400 milligrams of ibuprofen and potassium fluoride 2%, both in isolation and combination.

Patients’ perception of tooth sensitivity served as the outcome measure. Sensitivity was assessed using a visual analog scale immediately after bleaching and then six, 30 and 54 hours afterwards.  

The combination of ibuprofen and potassium fluoride was more effective in reducing tooth sensitivity immediately after bleaching than the placebo. The risk of developing moderate or severe tooth sensitivity was about four times higher in the placebo group than in the group that received both ibuprofen and potassium fluoride.

Other articles in the April issue of JADA discuss radiography safety, pediatric dental care use and sleep bruxism. The cover story, “Optimizing Radiation Safety in Dentistry: Clinical Recommendations and Regulatory Considerations,” provides updated recommendations on dental imaging safety and radiation protection, including no longer using thyroid collars on patients during radiographic exams.

Every month, JADA articles are published online at in addition to appearing in the print publication. ADA members can access JADA content with their ADA username and password.

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