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Natural Remedies For Sensitive Teeth (And When To See The Dentist)

by Beverly Hills MD

December 24 2019

Natural remedies for sensitive teeth could help if you get a sharp pain after drinking hot or cold liquids, or after eating certain foods. Teeth sensitivity isn’t just frustrating – it could actually be a sign of a gum problem, or some other sort of mouth issue.

Here’s some information on why teeth sensitivity happens and some of the ways you might be able to find relief.

Why Teeth Sensitivity Happens

tooth sensitivity | Beverly Hills MDThe biggest reason you have mouth discomfort is that the nerve endings in your teeth have become irritated. This discomfort can occur when eating or drinking, but it can also happen while flossing or when you brush your teeth. In order to learn why this happens, it’s important to first know a little bit about the structure of your mouth.

A substance known as enamel protects the teeth. Cementum, a substance similar to enamel, protects the roots of your teeth. Bother cementum and enamel cover another layer of the teeth, known as dentin. Pulp, located in the center of each tooth, contains the nerves and blood vessels.

If the cementum or enamel are damaged, that can irritate the dentin. That leads to the discomfort you’re experiencing. This damage can occur due to an injury, poor oral hygiene habits, tooth decay, and more.1

Teeth Actually Have Ligaments – And This Can Lead to Sensitivity

You obviously know you have ligaments in your knees and other parts of the body. Did you know that teeth have ligaments as well? Tiny fibers attach your teeth to the nearby bones and nerves. These fibers are known as periodontal ligaments.

Periodontal ligaments are extremely sensitive. Even a minor bit of trauma can lead to soreness, whether it occurs to your wisdom teeth or any other teeth. Abscesses and infections can also damage the ligaments, resulting in discomfort. Periodontal issues can break down not only ligaments but also gum tissue.2

Other Potential Culprits

woman brushing teeth toothache | Beverly Hills MD

There are several other reasons why teeth sensitivity can occur. Here are just a few of the more common ones.

  • Your gums are receding – When the gums pull away from the teeth, this can expose the roots, leading to sensitivity.
  • Not brushing correctly – Some people simply brush their teeth with too much force. This can wear away not only enamel but also dentin. This can also lead to gum recession.
  • Baking soda and peroxide – If you use a brand of toothpaste that contains these ingredients, that could increase tooth sensitivity. Many teeth whitening products contain peroxide and baking soda as well.
  • Acidic foods – Certain kinds of foods might also contribute to sensitivity. These include acidic foods such as pickles, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and others.3

Natural Remedies For Sensitive Teeth: Coconut Oil And Salt Water

Thankfully, there are some remedies you can try at home if you have sensitive teeth. These are safe – and, in many cases – very effective.

One way people often find relief is through a process known as “oil pulling.” You simply swish some oil, such as coconut oil or sesame oil, around your mouth.

Do this for a few minutes and then rinse. One study shows that rinsing with coconut oil can support your gum health.4 Gum disease can lead to receding gums – which can lead to sensitivity.5

You might also try mixing a little bit of salt into a cup of warm water, then rinse your mouth. Research shows that rinsing your mouth with salt water might also help reduce plaque.6 This may also help reduce sensitivity.

garlic and toothbrush | Beverly Hills MDAnother Home Remedy For Sensitive Teeth: Garlic

Garlic isn’t just a fantastic ingredient that adds flavor to a wide range of foods. It could also help if you have sensitive teeth. The secret is a compound in garlic known as allicin.

Allican is capable of killing bacteria. One particular strain of bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, has been linked to gum disease.7 If too much of this strain accumulates around your gums and teeth, that can lead to tooth decay.8 Tooth decay can make sensitivity worse.9

Can You Prevent Teeth Sensitivity?

One of the best things you can do to help prevent your teeth from becoming sensitive is to make sure you practice good oral hygiene. If the bacteria in your mouth aren’t removed regularly, they can cause big problems. Over time, they can turn into plaque. Plaque can eventually make the gums recede.10

But it’s not enough to brush your teeth two times a day. You need to pay attention to how you brush. If your toothbrush has hard bristles or you use too much force, that can cause problems. Try using a brush with soft bristles and brush gently.

Also, you should replace your brush after three or four months. If you notice frayed bristles, replace the brush immediately. Use floss every day, and see your dentist for regular cleanings.11

Sensitive Teeth And Gums: Put Oral Hygiene First And See The Dentist As Soon As Possible

woman at dentist | Beverly Hills MDIf natural remedies for sensitive teeth don’t work, and your issue is interfering with your quality of life, you should probably consider seeing a dentist. The good news is that teeth sensitivity can be successfully addressed.

There are a couple of non-invasive options. One is to use desensitizing toothpaste. It contains ingredients that keep pain signals from getting to the nerve. There is also a gel that you can use to reduce sensitivity.

If the sensitivity is the result of tooth decay, your dentist can address that issue. In some instances, a surgical procedure may be needed if there is something wrong with the gum or the root of the tooth.12

Stop Living With Teeth Sensitivity

Whether you’re having gum problems, you’re brushing too hard, not brushing enough or there’s some other reason for your tooth sensitivity, there’s no reason to keep living with this issue. Try the above natural remedies. If they don’t work, talk to your dentist.

Learn More:
Health Trend: Can Coconut Oil Really Whiten Teeth?
Best Methods For Getting A Whiter Smile
How To Get Rid Of Yellow Nails At Home: Remove Or Cover Yellow Stains

Sources
1 https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/oral-health/sensitive-teeth#symptoms
2 https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/tender-teeth-whats-behind-your-aching-smile/
3 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/10954-teeth-sensitivity/possible-causes
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819160/
6 http://www.jisppd.com/article.asp?issn=0970-4388;year=2017;volume=35;issue=4;spage=319;epage=326;aulast=Aravinth
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8259/
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257652/
9 https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/patient_33.pdf?la=en
10 https://dentistry.uic.edu/patients/cavity-prevention-bacteria
11 https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/FTDP_Sept2013_2.pdf?la=en
12 https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sensitive-teeth