If you ask around in your friend group, most people will report having sensitive teeth. However, what you must know is that tooth sensitivity is not always a trivial matter!
Tooth sensitivity is often triggered by the intake of very hot, cold, acidic, or sugary foods. Sensitivity can signify worn/defective enamel and exposed nerve endings.
The good news?
There are several ways to address tooth sensitivity naturally and at home. This blog will take you through what causes your teeth to tingle (in a bad way) and what you can do to treat the pain.
The Science Behind Sensitivity
You might know the sharp pain of sensitivity all too well, but what is really happening inside the tooth?
To begin, dentin is the inner layer of your tooth. The dentin is connected to the pain-triggering nerve. Dentin is covered by an outer layer of hard protective enamel. The tooth roots are also made of dentin. There is no enamel protecting the tooth root dentin, however, your gums form a protective shield the roots of your teeth.
So, when your enamel wears down, or your gum line recedes, the dentin becomes exposed. As such, when you eat hot, cold, or acidic food, it reaches the inner nerve of the tooth, causing pain.
Am I the Problem?
The wearing down of enamel is an entirely natural part of the aging process. But you might also have some habits that actually accelerate this wearing down process!
Let’s take a look a list of habits/reasons that could be causing your tooth sensitivity:
- Brushing too hard
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Regular intake of acidic beverages like coffee or soft drinks
- Build-up of plaque
- Long-term use of acidic mouthwashes
- Cracked teeth
- Gum diseases like Gingivitis
- Recent dental procedures like fillings, crowns, etc.
How to Curb Tooth Sensitivity?
There is no permanent solution to sensitive teeth, medical or otherwise. However, various methods are known to help limit the pain and provide relief.
Here are eight remedies that you can try from the comfort of your home.
1. Desensitizing Toothpaste
Try switching out your regular toothpaste for a desensitizing one. It contains ingredients that actively shield your nerve endings from any irritating compounds.
One such protective ingredient is potassium nitrate. It blocks any pain signal traveling between the nerves and the surface of your tooth. So, regular use of desensitizing toothpaste can reduce sensitivity.
It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Additionally, if you use mouthwash regularly, make sure that it is not acidic. Instead, neutral mouthwashes containing fluoride will be your best bet.
2. Salt Water
Saltwater is commonly used as an antiseptic, and it has oral benefits too. It maintains the pH balance within your mouth to create an alkaline environment where bacteria cannot survive.
So, gargling with salt water twice a day can help alleviate any pain and reduce inflammation.
- Take one glass of lukewarm water
- Add half or a three-fourth teaspoon of salt and mix well
- Swish for 30 seconds and spit
3. Green Tea
You might already be familiar with the many health benefits of drinking green tea. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve your oral health.
You can use unsweetened green tea as a mouthwash.
Rinse your mouth twice a day regularly for stronger teeth and reduced sensitivity.
4. Vanilla Extract
This is often used to soothe teething babies. Vanilla extract is known to have analgesic and antiseptic properties. So, if you do not want to use a mouthwash, vanilla extract is a great alternative.
Just pour some of the extract onto a cotton ball and place it onto your gums for a couple of minutes to relieve any pain.
You can repeat this process regularly to see the results.
This is an active component found in hot chili peppers. Capsaicin is an irritant to human tissues. However, it is also a common analgesic and helps relieve nerve pain. It is used to treat burning mouth syndrome by reducing inflammation.
So, if you do not mind a slight initial burning sensation, you can use a gel or mouthwash containing capsaicin.
Clove and clove oil is another ancient remedy for oral care. It is a natural disinfectant and has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Just place clove buds in the affected areas or apply clove oil. But remember that clove has very potent essential oils. So, use it in small amounts.
Apart from cooking, turmeric is used in many different ayurvedic treatments. You can rub some ground turmeric on your teeth in the affected area for pain relief.
You are now familiar with some easy home remedies for reducing tooth sensitivity and alleviating pain. However, remember that these remedies do not address the source of your problem.
If the level of pain increases or persists over a couple of days, you must get an appointment with your dentist. They can identify the root cause and possibly provide a permanent solution. Contact Pure Dental Arts in Seattle today if you have sensitive teeth.