Best home remedies for sensitive teeth

Do you feel a sharp sting in your teeth when you bite into your favourite caramel-flavoured ice cream, sip your go-to cold drink, or take some much-needed hot coffee on a Monday morning? If the answer is yes, then you might have sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental issue where eating, drinking, and even breathing can cause discomfort. It's an exaggerated reaction to everyday stimuli that most people don't experience.

Sensitive teeth occur when the dentine, the layer beneath your tooth enamel, becomes exposed. This exposure happens due to receding gum tissues. The dentine contains tiny channels that transmit sensations like hot, cold, or sweet directly to the tooth's nerve, causing pain. This condition is most common among people aged twenty-five to thirty.

So how do you get rid of the awful pain that follows every delicious dining experience? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we will take you through the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment options for your sensitive teeth. Here’s hoping that it helps you understand your condition better and offers you practical measures to relieve it.

 

What causes tooth sensitivity?

What causes tooth sensitivity

Below are a few factors that could be behind your tooth sensitivity-

  1. Acidic Foods- Eating too many acidic foods like pickles, tea, tomatoes, and citrus fruits can erode your enamel and make your teeth sensitive.
  2. Aggressive Brushing- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down enamel and cause gums to recede, exposing the dentine.
  3. Plaque Buildup- Plaque on the root surface of your teeth can lead to sensitivity.
  4. Receding Gums- Gum diseases can cause gums to pull away from teeth, exposing the roots and leading to sensitivity.
  5. Dental Procedures- Treatments like teeth cleaning, restorations, and root planing can sometimes result in temporary sensitivity.
  6. Whitening Products- Excessive use of teeth whitening products can make teeth more sensitive.
  7. Certain kinds of toothpaste- Toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide can cause sensitivity. PUREXA herbal sensitive toothpaste is effective in preventing tooth sensitivity. It seals open dentinal tubules and prevents teeth from further decay,
  8. Acidic Mouthwash- Long-term use of acidic mouthwash can lead to sensitivity.
  9. Gum Disease- Inflammation and swelling of gums can make teeth more sensitive.
  10. Cracked or Broken Teeth- These can become infected with bacteria, leading to painful, sensitive teeth.

Also Read - How to Deal with Sudden Tooth Sensitivity

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can indicate other oral health issues. Along with tooth sensitivity, you might also notice the following symptoms-

  • Sharp Pain While Brushing- A sudden, intense pain when brushing your teeth.
  • Discomfort with Certain Foods- A sharp sensation when eating hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods.
  • Reaction to Cold Air- Pain or discomfort when exposed to cold air.

Also Read - Sensitive Teeth Causes

Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

If you're dealing with sensitive teeth, here are some natural remedies you can try at home to help relieve the strain.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can be soothing for tooth sensitivity. This plant contains anthraquinone, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can make a gel from fresh aloe vera leaves and use it to clean your teeth and gums. Unlike many commercial toothpastes, aloe vera gel doesn't contain harsh abrasives, making it gentler on sensitive teeth and gums.

To use aloe vera, rinse fresh leaves with water, peel them, and scoop out the gel. Blend the gel until it becomes frothy. Apply it directly to the sensitive areas of your teeth or use it as a mouthwash.

2. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil can provide quick relief for sensitive teeth through a method known as oil pulling. This ancient practice involves swishing oil in your mouth to improve oral hygiene. Sesame oil is particularly beneficial for this purpose.

To try oil pulling, take a tablespoon of sesame oil and swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes. The oil will turn milky white as it mixes with saliva and picks up toxins and bacteria. Spit out the oil and brush your teeth thoroughly afterwards. It's best to do this on an empty stomach in the morning.

3. Clove Oil

Clove oil is rich in bioactive compounds like volatile oil and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This makes clove oil effective in relieving pain associated with sensitive teeth.

You can use whole cloves or clove oil for relief. Place a whole clove on the affected tooth and gently bite down to release the oil. Alternatively, make a paste by grinding cloves and mixing them with a few drops of olive oil or water. Apply the paste to the sensitive area for temporary relief.

4. Garlic

Garlic is known for its antimicrobial properties and can act as a natural antibiotic. The bioactive components in garlic, such as flavonoids and saponins, help manage dental plaque, which can contribute to tooth sensitivity.

To use garlic for tooth sensitivity, crush a clove and mix it with a little salt. Apply this mixture to the affected tooth to help reduce pain and discomfort.

5. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This can help control the growth of bacteria in dental plaque, which can reduce tooth sensitivity.

You can make a peppermint mouthwash by steeping dried peppermint leaves in hot water. Let it cool and use it as a rinse. Alternatively, you can hold a warm peppermint tea bag against the sensitive tooth for a soothing effect.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It can help manage dental plaque and reduce tooth sensitivity.

Make a paste by mixing turmeric powder with a small amount of water. Apply this paste directly to the sensitive tooth and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process regularly to see results.

7. Neem

Neem has bioactive compounds called terpenoids that have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. It can help manage gum inflammation and sensitivity.

Grind dried neem leaves into a powder and mix with baking soda and water to make a paste. Use this paste as toothpaste to brush your teeth, helping to relieve pain and reduce sensitivity.

8. Mustard Twigs (Miswaak)

Mustard twigs, also known as miswaak, have been traditionally used for oral hygiene. They contain essential oils and other compounds that have antimicrobial properties.

You can use a miswaak stick to clean your teeth. Simply chew the end of the stick until it forms bristles and use it to brush your teeth. This natural toothbrush can help reduce tooth sensitivity.

9. Bloodwort Tea

Bloodwort, or bloodroot, contains a bioactive compound called sanguinarine, which has antibacterial and antiplaque properties. Bloodwort tea can help reduce dental plaque and tooth sensitivity.

To make bloodwort tea, boil a teaspoon of bloodwort roots in a cup of water and let it steep. Drink this tea three times a day to help manage tooth sensitivity.

10. Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes is essential for managing sensitive teeth in the long run. This includes maintaining good oral hygiene, using proper brushing and flossing techniques, opting for a soft-bristled toothbrush, using desensitizing toothpaste, avoiding acidic foods, and scheduling regular dental check-ups.

Prevention

Prevention of sensitive teeth

While home remedies can help ease tooth sensitivity, there are several steps you can take to prevent further damage to your teeth-

  1. Keep Your Mouth Clean- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly to maintain a clean and healthy mouth.
  2. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush- Choose a softer toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums and wearing down your tooth enamel.
  3. Watch Your Diet- Limit acidic foods and drinks, like citrus fruits and sodas, to protect your tooth enamel from erosion.
  4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly- Schedule regular dental check-ups to catch and address any issues early.
  5. Use a Mouthguard at Night- If you grind your teeth while you sleep, wearing a mouthguard can help prevent damage.

When to Seek Medical Help

When to Seek Medical Help

It's important to seek medical attention right away if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Receding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Dental plaque
  • Cracked tooth

Home remedies can provide temporary relief, but they shouldn't be the only solution for managing sensitive teeth. If your symptoms don't improve with home remedies, it's crucial to consult a dentist for proper advice and treatment.

Conclusion

Living with sensitive teeth can be painful and limiting, affecting your ability to enjoy everyday activities like eating and drinking. Unlike healthy teeth, sensitive teeth react sharply to brushing and consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods. While you can try various home remedies like aloe vera, clove oil, sesame oil, garlic, turmeric, neem, peppermint, and miswaak to ease the discomfort, it's essential to seek professional help if the sensitivity persists. Don't rely solely on home treatments; see a dentist for proper care and relief.

 

Written by Dr. Shipra Jaiswal, BDS, MDS, a Periodontist and Gums Specialist

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