How to Relieve Sensitive Teeth (Naturally)
Sensitive teeth are a very common problem that millions of people face all over the world. It can make life miserable as you cannot enjoy the foods you like most such as hot, cold or sweet foods. Even drinking a cup of tea or coffee or eating an ice-cream gives immense pain.
Tooth sensitivity, which is also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is the sharp tooth pain you feel due to wearing away of tooth’s enamel that exposes the tooth’s dentine beneath the enamel to several tiny tubes that contain sensitive nerve endings and triggers pain when exposed to hot, cold or sweet.
Fortunately, there are several home remedies for sensitive teeth.
Preventing plaque Build Up
Build up of plaque is one reason for teeth sensitivity. Plaque can harden and crystallize and these hard deposits can emit acidic substances that can lead to nerve irritation and sensitivity. The problem becomes double fold if you have teeth that are naturally sensitive.
Therefore, for preventing plaque buildup, you must brush your teeth at least twice daily. While brushing, it is also important not to press hard as it can lead to more enamel damage and will worsen the sensitivity and damage the gums as well. While brushing, use an up and down motion to remove the plaque effectively.
There are many specialized toothpastes that help in removing the sensitivity of the teeth. These toothpastes do a good job by desensitizing the nerves and offering relief from the tingling pain while you consume hot and cold food items.
Certain compounds in the toothpaste help by blocking the sensations on the surface of the tooth to the nerve and hence prevent the tingling and pain temporarily. However, these toothpastes are not fast acting and require several sittings before they actually start working on the nerve. Again, while using these toothpastes, use a soft bristled brush to prevent further aggravation.
Using a soft toothbrush is very important while you have sensitive teeth. Along with one of these home remedies, it is imperative that you choose your toothbrush with care. Toothbrushes with hard bristles can cause the enamel to erode more and the nerve to get irritated further. Therefore, ensure that you use a soft bristled toothbrush always, to protect your enamel and also to prevent further aggravation as well. While you use a soft bristled tooth brush, brush with an up and down motion to remove the plaque effectively.
Salt water can also help relieve tooth sensitivity fast. Salt water improves the pH balance of the mouth, thus creating an alkaline environment in which harmful bacteria cannot survive. It can help reduce dental pain as well as help treat gum sores and side effects of recent dental procedures.
• Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
• Rinse your mouth with this salt-water solution.
• If moving it to all parts of your mouth is painful, try holding it for a few minutes.
• Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with plain water.
• Repeat twice daily until you are satisfied with the result.
Cloves and Clove Oil
Cloves have been widely used in dentistry for anti-inflammatory, anesthetic and antibacterial properties that help reduce tooth pain and fight oral infections.
Use any of the following remedies twice daily for a few days:
• Grind 2 whole cloves, mix in a little olive oil and apply this paste on your affected tooth for at least 30 minutes.
• Dab a cotton ball in clove oil and place it directly on your affected tooth for 20 to 30 minutes.
• Mix 5 or 6 drops of clove oil in ½ glass of lukewarm water. Rinse your mouth with this solution.
Damaging the enamel will put the teeth under risk of damage. Teeth will soon become sensitive and cause pain and discomfort. If you have excess saliva or low saliva production in your mouth, this can lead to softening of the teeth and aggravate the sensitivity problem.
For hardening the tooth back to normalcy and desensitizing it, you can use baking soda. Take a quarter glass of water and add a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to this. Rinse your mouth or brush your mouth with this water.
Garlic also helps deal with tooth sensitivity. It is high in allicin that makes it a powerful antibacterial agent and a natural anesthetic.
It can help reduce pain resulting from tooth sensitivity as well as an abscess infection. It also helps kill the germs that cause oral infections and cavities.
• Make a paste by mixing together 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 or 3 drops of water and some table salt. Apply it directly on the affected tooth. Let it sit for several minutes before rinsing it off with warm salt water. Repeat twice daily for a few days.
• Alternatively, cut garlic clove in half and gently rub the cut side against the affected tooth for 7 to 10 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily to alleviate pain.
Onion contains quercetin flavonoids, which possess anti-inflammatory properties. This helps provide relief from pain caused by tooth sensitivity.
Also, the antimicrobial properties of onion help kill the harmful bacteria in the mouth that cause oral infections.
• Cut a piece of onion to a small size that will fit comfortably in your mouth.
• Put the cut slice on the affected tooth.
• Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Thoroughly rinse your mouth with salt water to prevent onion breath.
• Repeat 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
Limit Consumption of Acidic Foods
Frequent consumption of food and drinks with high acid content can dissolve tooth enamel, leading to dentin exposure.
Use the following tips to reduce enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity caused by acidic food and beverages:
• Limit acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and avoid wine.
• After eating or drinking some acidic food or beverage, drink water to balance the acid levels in your mouth.
• Avoid brushing your teeth right after eating or drinking acidic substances as it can damage the tooth enamel. Wait for 30 minutes, before brushing your teeth.
Brush More Often
This home remedy is simple enough, yet its effectiveness can’t be emphasized too much. Ideally, you should brush your teeth at least twice each day, especially after meals and before going to bed. The main reason for doing this is to remove dental plaque before it has a chance to harden and promote tooth decay. However, during the time between eating or drinking and brushing your teeth, the plaque releases an acid that increases tooth sensitivity even more.
A fluoride rinse will help control sensitive teeth. This is especially true when you have had acidic and sugary foods that can aggravate tooth sensitivity. After brushing your teeth with toothpaste for sensitivity, you can rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse.
Though it is better to avoid sugary and acidic foods, when you cannot avoid them on certain occasions, you must not brush your teeth immediately after taking sugary and acidic foods. Wait for an hour and then use the fluoride rinse instead to control the sensitivity.
If you have enough dental floss in the bathroom medicine cabinet to go around the world three times, then it’s time to taking flossing seriously. Regular flossing after brushing helps to remove materials that the toothbrush misses. Unless it’s removed, it will turn to hardened plaque within 72 hours and can only be removed by a dentist. Meanwhile, the plaque will irritate your teeth and cause sensitivity.
Compiled by Manizheh Soleimani Fard
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