Sensitive teeth can make life almost unbearable when simple everyday activities such as eating, drinking and brushing teeth are all characterized by a stinging sensation.
Sensitive teeth are often the result of enamel that is worn out. In many cases, this condition could also arise from roots that are exposed, thus predisposing you to tooth discomfort. This occurs because the surface surrounding the teeth’s roots, known as dentin, is made up of small tubes that lead up to the pulp of the tooth.
The pulp constitutes the nerve endings, which is what causes you to feel the distinct sensations. Other causes of sensitive teeth include the presence of cavities, chipped teeth as well as a newly filled tooth.
This sensitivity could also be the product of dental procedures that range from teeth whitening to the fitting of braces, aggressive tooth brushing techniques, the accumulation of plaque and the excessive use of commercially-made mouth wash.
It is important to note that while there are home remedies that are effective in helping you deal with tooth sensitivity, it is vital to get the opinion of a medical practitioner. This is because only such a professional can pinpoint the specific causes of your condition. The underlying cause of this sensitivity will then determine the course of action taken by your dentist.
In the mean time, you can always ease the pain of the sensitivity by avoiding foods that are either too hot or too cold as these act as triggers for the sensitivity. Extremely sweet foods also heighten the sensation of this condition, making it imperative to avoid them too.
In addition to these simple measures, you can also use the natural sensitive teeth remedies listed below to ease the condition. Each one of these sensitive teeth home remedy contains 3 sets of information: the approximate time of use, what you need, as well as the difficulty of the remedy. The latter is categorized as easy, moderate or difficult.
1. Clove Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Whole clove or clove oil, pestle and mortar/coffee grinder, and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Moderate (attributed to the bitterness of the cloves)
Clove oil has been used for a wide range of dental problems since ancient civilizations. This is because its active ingredient, known as eugenol, has excellent anti inflammatory and analgesic properties. This comes in handy for those with sensitive teeth as it somewhat numbs the pain, allowing you to escape the world of tooth discomfort.
The effects typically last a few hours, and the bitter taste dissipates in about 15 minutes or so. It is important to note, however, that the use of clove oil must not be prolonged as it has the capacity to cause the death of the nerve’s endings. In fact, this remedy should only be used while you are on your way to the dentist for an appointment. You could use the whole clove or opt for the oil.
NOTE: you can buy clove oil from the chemist, and is the more potent option of the two. This is because it has been taken through the process of steam distillation, thus getting rid of any impurities that may impede the remedy’s action on sensitive teeth.
Using clove oil:
- Simply put a drop of the oil on the teeth that you suspect could be experiencing sensitivity. The oil has a bitter taste, and you may be tempted to spit it out immediately, but do not.
- Swish the oil in your mouth for five minutes so that the oil’s active ingredient spreads across the affected teeth.
- Spit the oil before rinsing your mouth with warm water. As mentioned above, this remedy should not be used over a prolonged period of time owing to its potential risk to the nerves.
Using whole clove:
- If you have whole cloves instead of clove oil, simple put a few of the cloves in a mortar and use the pestle to grind. This action releases the oil which contains the active eugenol.
- Place the ground cloves in your mouth, preferably around the affected teeth and bite down. You will know the oil has been formed when you feel the clove’s bitter taste in your mouth. Let the ground cloves stay in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting. Do not swallow the oil.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
2. Mustard Oil And Rock Salt:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A teaspoon of mustard oil, a teaspoon of rock oil, warm water for rinsing, and cotton wool.
Mustard oil is especially effective for tooth sensitivity that results from receding gum lines. This is because it helps to strengthen the gums all the while providing relief from the sensitivity. Rock salt on the other hand, is a great accompaniment of mustard oil as its antibacterial properties help ward off bacterial colonies that may complicate tooth sensitivity in the case of receded gums. The two ingredients work in synergy to make this combination one of the most effective sensitive teeth cures around.
- Mix the mustard oil with the rock salt to create a paste-like substance.
- Place a small ball of cotton wool to pick the paste and massage the affected teeth with the paste.
- Let the mixture stay on for about 5 minutes.
- Use warm water to rinse your mouth as well as get rid of the characteristic smell of the mustard oil. Use this sensitive teeth treatment twice a day, and make sure to get a dentist’s opinion.
3. Propolis (Also Known as Bee Glue):
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Propolis and a q-tip.
Propolis, also referred to as bee glue, is a dark brown compound that is obtained by bees from the buds of trees and plants which produce sap. Its antimicrobial properties make it an excellent option for maintenance of proper oral hygiene. In addition to this, a number of studies have shown that propolis has the capacity to decrease the permeability of dentin, thus preventing the characteristic triggers associated with sensitive teeth.
- Using a q-tip, scoop some of the propolis before applying it topically to the affected teeth and the surrounding gum. This works well to get rid of extremely sensitive tooth pain.
4. Oregano, Cinnamon or Sesame Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Choice of any of these oils: oregano oil, sesame oil or cinnamon oil; cotton wool, dropper, warm water to rinse.
The use of these oils has been traced back to ancient civilizations where the oils were used to maintain great oral health. Today, research has shown that sesame oil not only boasts antibacterial properties, it also allows for the mineralization of the teeth enamel. In cases of receded gum lines, the use of sesame oil has been shown to be effective in reducing and even stopping sensitive teeth pain associated with receded gum lines.
Oregano oil on the other hand, has excellent antiseptic properties that get rid of germ accumulation in the oral cavity. Additionally, it is also a great pain killer, and this makes it an effective natural remedy against the development of sensitive teeth. These oils can be obtained from the chemist. Note that the oils need to be used separately to reduce the risk of interaction of the actives. Cinnamon oil has also been shown to be effective in reducing teeth sensitivity.
- Place your choice oil in a small bowl, and using a small piece of cotton wool, dab some of the oil onto the affected teeth, making sure you rub the surrounding gums in gentle but firm motions.
- Alternatively, use a dropper to place three drops of either oil in your mouth. Swirl the oil repeatedly for about 5 minutes before spitting it out. Use warm water to rinse your mouth.
5. Baking Soda (Also Referred to as Sodium Bicarbonate):
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A teaspoon of baking soda and a glass of warm water.
One of the causes of sensitive teeth is due to enamel corrosion. The enamel in the teeth is worn out when one constantly eats acidic and sugary foods, thus creating an acidic environment which eats away at the enamel. When the enamel, whose function is to protect the teeth, is corroded, it leads to the exposure of dentin. This effortlessly causes sensitivity in the teeth.
The use of baking soda serves as a handy home remedy to cure sensitive teeth because it counters the acidic environment by increasing the pH in the oral cavity. Take care however, not to overuse the baking soda over prolonged periods of time as the remedy is naturally abrasive, and can cause the enamel layer to thin. In addition to this, ensure that you do not use the baking soda by placing it directly on the teeth. Doing so only enhances the remedy’s abrasion, which does beat the very logic of using baking soda.
- Add a teaspoon of the baking soda to the glass of warm water and take this once daily. Avoid prolonged use, and in the event that the sensitivity does not reduce, get a dentist’s appointment to look into the probable causes of this dental condition.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of salt and warm glass of water.
Salt has long been used as a home remedy for a host of health conditions, thanks to its ability to get rid of infections. When used for tooth sensitivity that result from bacterial infections, this remedy works wonders. It is also an excellent way to maintain oral hygiene – a simple but effective remedy.
- Simply add 2 teaspoons of salt to a glass of warm water and use it as gargle twice daily, preferably during your brushing routine.
7. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Gel from a freshly cut aloe vera leaf and cotton wool.
Aloe vera is a versatile remedy, largely due to its soothing and anti inflammatory properties. In the case of tooth sensitivity, the gel helps reduce the sensation experienced when you take your food or drinks. The gel also soothes the surrounding gum area, therefore reducing the pain.
- Squeeze the gel from the freshly cut leaf and put it on the cotton wool.
- Dab the gel on the affected teeth, and massage gently to ensure that the gel is well spread.
- Let the gel stay in place for about 5 minutes, before rinsing with warm water. Repeat this remedy twice daily.
While natural remedies go a long way in reducing sensitivity, there are a number of tips that you can use to reduce the dental discomfort associated with this condition. Incorporate regular flossing into your oral hygiene regimen, and make sure you brush your teeth at least twice daily.
It also helps to rinse your mouth with warm (plain) water after consuming sugary foods. You should also make sure you change your brush every two months to avoid twisted bristles that cause damage to the gums. More importantly, book a dentist’s appointment in case the severity of sensitivity does not reduce.