Tooth sensitivity is a common dental issue often caused by different lifestyle habits. For instance, brushing the teeth aggressively with the right toothbrush can tear off the enamel’s outer layer. With that layer gone, your teeth will be unprotected and exposed nerve endings, leading to pain. Other things that may cause tooth sensitivity include aging, grinding or clenching of teeth, acid reflux, and certain dental work.
While tooth sensitivity cannot be instantly relieved, there are certain ways to manage it. If your teeth are healthy and alive, the sensitivity will slowly get better with time. If you feel discomfort or pain when you eat hot soup or ice cream, it’s likely due to tooth sensitivity. Aside from the hot and cold foods and beverages, other triggers include acidic and sweet options, alcohol-based mouth rinses, and flossing or brushing teeth.
If you’re experiencing teeth sensitivity, here are several ways to help you manage it:
1. Talk to your dentist
Consulting your dentist is the best way to deal with sensitive teeth. They can figure out the cause and give you proper recommendations on how to address the problem. If you’re experiencing severe sensitivity or pain, they will determine the right dental treatment for you. For instance, they might suggest a wisdom teeth removal to get rid of the pain.
An impacted tooth is a common cause of sensitivity and toothache. Or, you might need to get a gel fluoride treatment or dental crowns to cover your tooth’s sensitive area. Your dentist can also assess if your sensitive tooth is actually a symptom of a more serious dental health issue such as gum disease, exposed root, worn fillings, or fractured tooth.
2. Use desensitizing toothpaste
Another way to manage sensitive teeth is by using desensitizing toothpaste. This kind of toothpaste contains additives such as stannous fluoride and potassium nitrate to protect the nerves and reduce sensitivity. The good thing is, you can use it just like your regular toothpaste. Multiple applications will be required to notice the results. You can try a new formula if you experience no alleviation after several weeks of daily use. If you’re not sure what desensitizing formula to go for, speak with your dentist for advice.
3. Make a saltwater rinse
One of the most popular solutions to relieve oral pain caused by tooth sensitivity, damage, or mouth sores is saltwater. When used as a mouthwash, it can boost the alkalinity and natural pH level of your mouth. This then prevents the bacteria from growing inside your mouth. In addition to that, it can also act as an antiseptic, reduce inflammation, and freshen your breath. You can rinse with salt water every morning and night before you go to sleep. Swish around and gargle a warm saltwater solution for at least 30 seconds.
To make a saltwater mouthwash, you only need to mix two teaspoons of salt with one cup of warm water. You can use a saltwater rinse until the sensitivity improves.
4. Redo your diet
Dietary improvements can greatly help in managing tooth sensitivity. For instance, caffeinated and acidic foods and drinks can erode the enamels. Avoid these foods and drinks to foster healthier teeth or mouth. These include coffee, tomato-based options, citrus fruits, dried and sticky fruits, carbonated beverages, and tea. Instead, opt for ones that contain vitamins like potassium, calcium, vitamin A, and phosphorus. You can get potassium by eating sweet potatoes, bananas, and avocadoes, while yogurt, milk, and cheese are great sources of calcium. For vitamin A, egg yolks and fish are the easiest options, while you can get phosphorus from eating sardines, scallops, soybeans, and lentils.
5. Try oil pulling
Oil pulling is another way to deal with sensitive teeth. This technique is squishing coconut oil around your mouth. This oral health aid is particularly helpful for preventing the growth of bacteria in the mouth. It can also help get rid of toxins and germs from your gum surface and break down plaque on teeth.
When used regularly, it can also brighten or whiten the teeth and promote a healthier mouth. All you need is a tablespoon of melted coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm water.
The methods you can take for relieving teeth sensitivity may vary from person to person. If you’re experiencing mild to moderate pain, you can consider the home and natural remedies in this guide. But if the pain is intense or you’re unsure what’s the safe way to deal with sensitive teeth, don’t think twice to consult your dentist for proper advice.