A primer on tooth sensitivity: What causes it and natural remedies to try

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental problems, affecting at least 40 million adults in the U.S., according to the Academy of General Dentistry. It involves pain or discomfort in teeth when eating certain flavors – such as sweet or acidic foods – or when these are exposed to cold and hot temperatures. Although the pain is often sharp and sudden, and it may shoot into the nerve endings of the tooth, it is only temporary.

Tooth sensitivity can happen to anyone, and a lot of factors contribute to it. One of these is brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, which can cause the enamel to wear down and encourage gum recession. Healthy teeth, in particular, have enamel that protects the underlying layer of dentin, which is softer than enamel. The dentin is connected to the nerve that stimulates pain in sensitive teeth, and these are protected by the gums. Thus, if the enamel is worn down or if the gum line has receded, the dentin becomes exposed.

Another factor is gum recession, which often occurs in people who suffer from periodontal disease, as it exposes the dentin. Gingivitis, which causes inflamed and sore gum tissue, can also cause tooth sensitivity as it exposes the tooth’s root. (Related: 8 Natural Remedies That Repair Receding Gums.)

Having cracked teeth can also lead to tooth sensitivity as these can be filled with bacteria from plaque and cause inflammation in the pulp of the tooth. In more severe cases, it may result in abscess and infection. Other causes of tooth sensitivity include teeth grinding or clenching, plaque buildup, long-term use of mouthwash that contains acids, acidic foods, and dental procedures, such as professional cleaning, root planing, crown replacement, and other tooth restoration procedures.

Natural remedies for tooth sensitivity

Fortunately, there are natural remedies to treat and improve sensitive teeth. Here are some natural remedies you can try, according to an article published on the website StyleCraze.com:

  • Try coconut oil pulling – The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil can help lessen the pain in the tooth. To do this, swish one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, spit out the oil and brush your teeth.
  • Gargle with a saltwater solution – Salt contains natural antiseptic properties and can also reduce inflammation. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and gargle. Use this solution twice daily.
  • Eat yogurt – Eating half a bowl of plain yogurt once a day can help reduce the demineralization of the tooth enamel.
  • Chew on guava leaves – Chewing on guava leaves once or twice daily can help ease sensitive tooth pain. This is because guava leaves contain flavonoids like quercetin and rutin that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Apply garlic mixture – Make a garlic mixture by crushing a clove of garlic first and adding a few drops of water and a pinch of salt to it. Then, apply the mixture to the affected tooth. After 10 to 15 minutes, rinse it off with water. Compounds in garlic offer anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help in treating toothache caused by sensitivity.

Other treatments for sensitive teeth include changing your brushing habits; refraining from consuming acidic foods, such as oranges and pickles, and drinking acidic beverages such as red wine, soda, and fruit juices; putting a stop to tooth grinding; and treating receding gums. Although its symptoms may be lessened, tooth sensitivity will never completely go away unless the primary cause is not thoroughly addressed.

Read more news stories and studies on holistic dentistry by going to HolisticDentistry.news.

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