9 Incredible Home Remedies To Treat Tooth Sensitivity

img AD Ratings imgApril 26, 2019

You may have experienced tooth sensitivity and resultant pain at one time or another. Research indicates that specific home remedies are effective in treating tooth sensitivity and reduce it over time.

Each of the home remedies mentioned in the article has been studied for effectiveness in reducing teeth sensitivity. Before we get to the home remedies, let’s understand teeth sensitivity and why it is caused.

Tooth Sensitivity is a Common Dental Complaint

According to a 2013 survey of the US dental offices conducted in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Utah found that one in eight dental consultations were about patients experiencing tooth sensitivity, reported Medical News Today website.

People experience tooth sensitivity, which builds up gradually over time because the tooth enamel erodes due to incorrect oral hygiene practices. As the protective enamel coating becomes thinner, the sensitive nerve endings in your teeth are exposed to the elements and cause discomfort and pain while drinking and eating.

Dentists stress on prevention as the best way to avoid teeth sensitivity. Maintaining routine oral hygiene is also the most effective way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth sensitivity.

Mild tooth sensitivity is easily treatable. However, if you are experiencing ongoing and severe tooth sensitivity, consult a dentist for in-office therapies and treatment options.

Here are some time-tested home remedies to treat or reduce teeth sensitivity:

  1. Oil pulling

The traditionally Indian Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling is known to help reduce tooth sensitivity. You take a small sip of sesame or coconut oil, swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes, and spit it out.

A 2009 study noted the effectiveness of sesame oil pulling in the reduction of gingivitis (gum disease) symptoms. A 2015 study illustrated the efficacy of daily coconut oil pulling in reducing dental plaque formation and gingivitis bacteria markers.

As oil pulling curtails gingivitis, research suggests that it may reduce tooth sensitivity as sensitivity is more commonly observed in patients suffering from gum recession and gingivitis.

  1. Guava leaves

Guava leaf extracts obtained either via chewing the leaf directly or via chemically converting it into a topical gel is known to help reduce a toothache and tooth sensitivity.

In 2017, the health benefits of guava leaves were reviewed. The research suggested that guava leaf extracts have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial flavonoids, which help sooth all forms of tooth pain.

  1. Clove gel

The use of clove oil is a relatively common traditional toothache relieving remedy. Scientific research has now shown this old wife’s tale to be a credible anodyne.

A 2006 comparative study pit clove gel against topical benzocaine to see which gel numbs a patient’s gums more effectively before the dentist begins their treatment procedures. Surprisingly, clove gel was shown to be just as quick as benzocaine gel in relieving needle pain.

While more research is required to figure out the exact benefits of clove gel, applying it will help reduce tooth sensitivity and pain.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is a panacea in traditional medicine and also used to treat a persistent toothache. Garlic contains a compound named allicin, which is released it is crushed or chewed. A 2011 study found that allicin has antimicrobial properties that aid in killing oral disease-causing bacteria like Streptococcus mutans.

The build-up of S. mutans around the teeth and gums leads to tooth decay and may enhance tooth sensitivity. If this bacterium is kept in check, tooth sensitivity can be lessened.

  1. Saltwater rinse

According to the Medical News Today website, a saltwater rinse is by far the most popular home remedy for keeping harmful oral bacteria at bay by enhancing oral hygiene. In 8 ounces of warm water add about half a teaspoon of salt. Move around this solution in your mouth a few times and spit it out.

A 2017 study proved that a saltwater rinse is as good as a chlorhexidine mouthwash used to reduce dental plaque buildup.

  1. Capsaicin gel

Capsaicin is a neuropeptide releasing agent and numbs nerve pain. It’s naturally present in all chili peppers and causes a burning yet analgesic sensation in the skin or gums of the person suffering from tooth pain.

A 2011 study on “Molecular Characterization of Pepper for Capsaicin” revealed the pain management capabilities of capsaicin applied topically to certain affected areas. The researchers are still unsure of the internal mechanisms of why this works, but they say that capsaicin probably numbs sensitive and exposed nerve fibers thereby debilitating their pain signal delivery process.

  1. Turmeric

The Indian alternative medicine system of Ayurveda recommends the use of the yellow spice of turmeric as an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Turmeric contains a pain relieving and phytopolylphenol enzyme named curcumin, which has many pharmacological abilities; pain relief being one of them.

To help with tooth sensitivity pain management, make a turmeric and water paste and apply it on the gums and the affected teeth.

A 2014 study also showed the effectiveness of the turmeric plant extract to be similar to that of ibuprofen’s analgesic properties for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

  1. Fluoride

All dentists recommend fluoride-containing dental products to lower the risk of dental cavities and thereby minimize the probability of tooth sensitivity.

A 2013 review conclusively proved that most fluoride preparations not only reduce tooth sensitivity but also act as desensitizing agents when used simultaneously with the respective desensitizing products.

  1. Desensitizing agents

Underneath the tooth enamel is a layer of Dentin, which is a tough, porous tissue, and can be turned into a semi-porous layer using desensitizing toothpaste.

When the dentin has fewer open pores, fewer liquids pass through and ensure that the nerves underneath this layer remain relatively untouched. Thus, patients experience lesser tooth sensitivity and pain.

Desensitizing dental agents contain metal ions, potassium, and oxalates. Based on 2006 in vitro study, scientists showed that when oxalate extracts, taken from rhubarb and spinach, were applied on dentine discs of human molars, tooth sensitivity decreased. Desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium is also known to reduce tooth sensitivity.

Common causes of Tooth Sensitivity

The primary cause of teeth sensitivity is the eroding of the top protective tooth layer, namely enamel, which exposes the dentin underneath. Exposed dentin becomes more porous enabling more liquids and gases to come in contact with the sensitive dental pulp tissue, which encases nerve endings and blood vessels.

Further, a 2013 study confirmed a link between gum recession due to gingivitis and at-home tooth whitening and tooth sensitivity.

If something (food, liquid, or air) touches the dentin, the exposed nerve endings will trigger pain specifically while drinking hot or cold liquids and chewing.

Tooth sensitivity due to worn enamel is due to the following factors:

  • Gum disease or gingivitis due to plaque buildup
  • Tooth decay
  • Chemically abrasive tooth whitening
  • Harsh and excessive teeth brushing
  • Eating highly acidic foods
  • Tooth abrading habits like grinding or clenching of teeth

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

You can easily protect your dental enamel to prevent tooth sensitivity by:

  • Following a proper dental regimen of brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day
  • No artificial whitening of teeth
  • Eating a healthy diet and cutting down sugary, starchy, and acidic food
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Quitting the smoking habit
  • Prevent grinding and clenching of teeth by wearing a mouthguard at night
  • Visiting a dentist regularly for consultations

When to See a Dentist

Whenever you experience severe pain while eating, drinking or even when you suck in air through the mouth, you’ll need to see a dentist. The dentist will conduct a thorough dental examination including a dental x-ray and identify the cause of your severe tooth sensitivity.

Your dentist may recommend the following after determining the severity of your teeth sensitivity:

  • The use of fluoride gels and desensitizing agents
  • A filling
  • A crown
  • An inlay or an onlay
  • A surgical gum graft
  • A root canal

Tooth sensitivity is easily treatable using home remedies if your symptoms are mild. To treat severe tooth sensitivity, you can always contact your dentist to receive specialist treatment. The important thing is to find out the underlying cause of the pain and treat it at home or a dentist’s office.


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