Top 4 Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

You don't have to live with tooth sensitivity

There are things you can do to relieve your tooth sensitivity.

It’s not uncommon for patients to reach out to us regarding tooth sensitivity concerns—and for good reason; those pains are often hard to ignore. That quick, sharp sensation that can occur after eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sugary is simply not a good feeling. 

There are many reasons you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Understanding the causes and learning some at-home remedies to relieve your discomfort can make all the difference.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

Let’s start by understanding what causes tooth sensitivity and toothaches in the first place. Some of the reasons might surprise you.

  • Using mouthwash too often. Once a day should suffice to remove loose food particles and keep your mouth minty fresh.
  • Consuming acidic foods and beverages, like tomatoes, citrus, and fruit juices. These items can erode your dental enamel and expose the dentin underneath. If you have sensitive teeth, it is also best to avoid ice cream, red wine, juice, soda, candy (especially hard candies), coffee, yogurt, fruit, and pickled foods.
  • Various at-home tooth whiteners and toothpastes that leverage peroxide-based bleaching agents. Be sure to get product recommendations from your dentist.
  • Gum recession. Your teeth’s roots are full of sensitive nerve endings. If you have periodontitis, those roots might not be covered and protected by your gum tissues. That exposure can lead to some serious sensitivity and discomfort.
  • Brushing your teeth too hard. It is human nature to want to scrub those teeth extra hard with your toothbrush, but doing so can actually work against you. The best strategy is to gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, especially after breakfast and before bed.
  • Recent dental treatments. It almost seems counterintuitive, as dental treatments are often necessary for our oral health. But teeth cleanings, replacement crowns and restorations, and even root planing can cause teeth sensitivity. The good news is this sensitivity is more often temporary than not.
  • Cracked teeth. Though chewing on ice can be refreshing and biting on hard candies can be extremely satisfying, it’s really not the best for your teeth, as it can lead to cracks. Large fillings can also lead to chipped, broken teeth. And once your tooth is cracked, the pulp and nerve endings inside can become irritated when you chew. Further, that crack can fill with bacteria, leading to further pain and sensitivity. 
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth. Though your dental enamel is the strongest material in your body, it simply can’t withstand the trauma caused by clenching and grinding. If you find yourself clenching and grinding, try wearing a mouth guard or nightguard.
  • Tooth decay. Cavities expose your roots to irritants, such as hot and cold temperatures and sugary sweets—even the air around you. Keeping your teeth clean and in good shape is the best deterrent for dental decay.

The Best At-Home Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, the most important thing for you to do is consult with your dentist. In the meantime, here are some things you can try at home to make you more comfortable.

1. Saltwater Rinse

A saltwater rinse not only helps soothe teeth sensitivity, but it can also help improve halitosis, tooth decay, canker sores, and sore throats. Salt water will also neutralize the acid caused by harmful bacteria in your mouth.

2. Desensitizing Toothpaste 

Desensitizing toothpaste can offer relief for tooth sensitivity. Potassium nitrate is an active ingredient that can soothe your teeth’s nerve endings. 

3. Clove Oil or Coconut Oil 

Combine one drop of pure clove oil and one drop of pure orange essential oil with four drops of a carrier oil. Then, combine the oil mixture with filtered water. Swish the solution around your mouth and spit out or apply it topically to teeth and gums. Another option is to swish one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15 minutes and spit it in the trash. If you don’t like the taste of the coconut oil, try adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil for a more palatable flavor.

4. Fluoride Treatment

The fluoride found in your toothpaste and mouthwash can strengthen your dental enamel, helping you to fight tooth decay and gum disease. So, don’t give up that fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash. You may, however, benefit from a fluoride treatment from your dentist. Be sure to mention this option at your next trip to the dentist. 

Talk to your dentist about your tooth sensitivity.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there is no need to feel discomfort any longer. If you live or work in the Wayland, Michigan, area, Bruce Sexton, DDS, can help. Visit our website to request an appointment. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about looking for a family dentist or your tooth sensitivity. Together, we can get you on the path to comfort.