Many people have sensitive teeth. This causes a sharp pain that is intense, but short-lived when you eat something hot, cold, sweet, or acidic. This is usually the result of thin enamel and the resulting exposure of the inner layer of your tooth called dentine to the elements.
How is tooth sensitivity treated?
There are methods to treat or reduce tooth sensitivity that is done at the dentist’s which usually offer far more effective and faster solutions. Your dentist will first look for any other underlying problems causing tooth sensitivity like decay. Depending on how severe your situation is, your dentist may recommend advanced treatments like a dental crown, inlay, or dental bonding.
If your symptoms are manageable, your dentist may also recommend you change your toothpaste or change your brushing/flossing style.
How can you manage sensitive teeth at home?
If you have ruled out other causes of tooth pain like cavities and decay that may need immediate attention, you may try some home remedies:
- Clove oil - Clove oil contains a natural anesthetic and acts as a temporary pain reliever. It is not a great taste, but it can soothe the pain. A few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball help relieve pain when rubbed over the affected area.
- Salt water rinse - Rinsing teeth with saline solution helps in the control of plaques and in the prevention of oral diseases. A few teaspoons of salt in a cup of warm water can be taken in the mouth and spit out after a few seconds.
- Peppermint oil - Peppermint oil reduced inflammation in the gingiva. The oil also is antibacterial and helps prevent the growth of bacteria and plaques. Use a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball, and apply it to the affected area.
- Using a cold compress
Other methods which have been suggested, but not studied in depth, include:
- Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse - acts as a disinfectant
- Green Tea - Reduces inflammation
- Garlic / Onion - Anti-bacterial and Anti-inflammatory properties
- Oil pulling - Reducing inflammation
- Softer toothbrush - protects your teeth and gums from hard brushing
- Sensitive toothpaste options - helps to fortify enamel and protect the dentin layer
- Honey - reduces inflammation
- Vanilla extract - anti-oxidant properties and nerve numbing
Can home remedies help me avoid a visit to the dentist?
Home remedies are temporary solutions that help you numb the pain and provide only temporary relief. It is important to get your tooth condition checked with a dentist to rule out more serious conditions that can advance with time and need immediate treatment.
If you hope to avoid a visit to the dentist, the best way is prevention by:
- Good oral hygiene
- Softer brush for preventing irritation
- Limiting acidic food items
- Having healthy food