If you’ve experienced sharp pain when eating or drinking something cold or hot, you have sensitive teeth. And you’re not alone. A new survey of U.S. dental offices finds that one in eight people has over-sensitive teeth. In addition to experiencing pain from extreme temperatures, it’s common for teeth to become sensitive to acidic and sugary foods.
For some, the condition is severe enough to permanently cause the avoidance of certain foods such as ice cream and coffee. Others may find that their tooth sensitivity lasts only for short periods with intermittent breaks without discomfort. The culprit is often enamel erosion or receding gums that have gone unnoticed due to missed dental appointments. If you’re suffering and can’t get to the office immediately, there are ways to soothe sensitive teeth at home until you can.
Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth
Desensitizing toothpaste contains agents such as potassium, which makes dentin less porous. As dentin is a hard, penetrable tissue that lies beneath the layer of enamel in all teeth, the sturdier it is, the more difficult it is for irritants to pass through and cause tooth sensitivity.
Used for years as an Ayurvedic remedy for reducing inflammation, turmeric is a yellow spice that contains curcumin, which may help relieve pain. A 2014 study found that a turmeric plant extract was as effective as ibuprofen in relieving osteoarthritis knee pain.
Mixing turmeric and water into a paste, try rubbing it into your gums to help reduce teeth sensitivity. Though there is no concrete scientist research to support the use of turmeric, it’s worth giving a try!
Known for its many health benefits, green tea has been used in cardiovascular health studies for its antioxidant effect and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea can also help in oral health. Use unsweetened green tea as a mouthwash twice a day to strengthen sensitive teeth and reduce inflammation.
Few things are as simple as a good old-fashioned saltwater rinse. As an effective antiseptic, salt can also help with inflammation.
To make a saltwater rinse, add half a teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water. Swish the salt water around your mouth several times and eliminate.
Found in chili peppers and other hot peppers, capsaicin is the compound that makes these peppers spicy. It contains analgesic properties. Use capsaicin as a topical gel or as a mouthrinse for sensitive teeth. Though it may burn initially, it will eventually reduce pain symptoms after continued use.
Stop at-home teeth whitening
Some patients notice that after starting an at-home bleaching regimen, teeth sensitivity becomes a problem. Though not totally understood, the leading hypothesis is that the bleaching solution’s chemicals break down the enamel, making the tooth more porous. Halt your routine for a week and see if your pain subsides.
Though home remedies will give you relief from sensitive teeth, they are not permanent fixes. Mouth pain should always be considered a serious matter. If left untreated, oral discomfort can indicate long-term gum recession, and enamel erosion which leaves the door open for serious health complications.
We know that some patients are skeptical about coming to the office during the pandemic. We want to assure you that we’ve taken extraordinary measures to protect you. If you have questions about our efforts, your dental health, or anything dentistry-related, feel free to contact us. We hope to see you soon.