Sometimes cold, hot, sweet or sour foods may trigger a sharp, sudden pain that shoots deep into the nerve endings of your teeth. This discomfort is known as tooth sensitivity.
The roots of your teeth contain thousands of tiny tubules (channels) leading to pulp or a tooth’s nerve center. The hot, cold or sweet stimuli can travel through these tubules to reach the nerve in your tooth when your dentin (the covering on a tooth’s roots) becomes exposed by receding gum tissue.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by tooth decay (cavities), a fractured tooth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel and exposed roots.
Aging, using the wrong oral products and consuming a lot of acidic foods can also contribute to this problem.
Fortunately, tooth sensitivity is quite treatable, whatever the cause. There are some remedies that you can try at home to help manage the condition and reduce pain.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of tooth sensitivity fast at home.
1. Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Oil pulling with coconut oil can help reduce the number of Streptococcus mutans bacteria in your mouth and diminish tooth sensitivity. Being a natural antibacterial agent, coconut oil helps reduce the plaque present on your teeth.
In fact, oil pulling helps improve oral health and prevent problems like toothaches, bad breath, and gum disease.
- Put 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in your mouth.
- Swish it around for 20 minutes.
- Spit out the oil and rinse your mouth well with warm water.
- After rinsing, brush gently your teeth as usual.
- Do this daily in the morning before eating or brushing your teeth.
You can also do oil pulling with sesame oil.
Note: Do not swallow or gargle with the oil, as it contains harmful bacteria from your mouth.
2. Salt Water
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.
3. 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.
A 2013 study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine found aqueous extract of cloves to have an analgesic effect. So, it can be beneficial for reducing tooth sensitivity and toothaches.
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.
4. Guava Leaves
Ayurveda recommends using guava leaves for toothaches. When you are suffering from sharp pain because of tooth sensitivity, try this age-old remedy for relief.
According to a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, guava leaves contain flavonoids, such as quercetin; keampferol; rutin with anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties; and free-radical scavenging activity. Thus, it helps relieve tooth sensitivity and toothache.
Use either of the following remedies 2 or 3 times daily:
- Chew 1 or 2 tender, fresh guava leaves for a few minutes and then spit it.
- Put 4 to 5 guava leaves in 1 cup of water and boil it for 5 minutes. Let it cool down, add some salt and use this solution as a mouthwash.
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 sitfor several minutes before rinsing it off with warm salt water. Repeat twice daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, cut a garlic clove in halfand 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.
6. Raw Onion
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.
7. Oregano Oil
To get rid of tooth sensitivity, oregano oil is very effective due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
- Put 2 or 3 drops of oregano oil on your clean finger and apply it gently on the affected tooth. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing your mouth with lukewarm water. Repeat twice daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, mix 4 or 5 drops of oregano oil in ¼ cup of lukewarm water. Use this solution as a mouthwash, 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can help fight toothaches. Its antibacterial property kills germs responsible for toothaches and other oral problems. As a bonus, it also will help whiten your teeth.
For oral health, use food-grade, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution only.
- Mix equal amounts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water.
- Use this homemade solution as a mouthwash.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a week only.
Note: Make sure to spit out the solution completely.
9. 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:
- Avoid or limit acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and wine.
- After eating or drinking an 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.
10. Maintain Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene helps prevent inflamed and sore gum tissue, cracked teeth and plaque buildup on the root surfaces that cause tooth sensitivity.
It is essential to clean your teeth, mouth, gums and tongue thoroughly by following proper brushing and flossing techniques.
- Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily. Do not use a hard-bristled toothbrush.
- Use desensitizing toothpaste to help reduce sensitivity. The ingredients in this typ eof toothpaste work by filling tubules in the dentin.
- Avoid using tartar-control toothpaste.
- Use a fluorinated mouth rinse to reduce high acid content in your mouth that can aggravate tooth sensitivity.
- Floss between your teeth twice daily.
- Teeth grinding may wear down your enamel and expose the dentin. Pay attention during stressful times to see if you are clenching and grinding your teeth. If so, take a few deep breaths to help relax your mouth. If you grind your teeth at night while sleeping, use a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
- Limit the use of tooth-whitening products, as the harsh chemicals they contain can wear away the enamel from your teeth and cause sensitivity.
- Chewing tobacco is no less harmful than smoking cigarettes. It can cause your gums to recede, which is a major cause of tooth sensitivity and decay.
- Avoid sucking on candy, which can cause enamel abrasion and tooth sensitivity.