There’s no way to go through pain every time you eat your favorite ice cream or drink a cup of coffee. But for many, it’s an everyday occurrence. In fact, according to recent research, 11.5% to 33.5% of people experience dentin hypersensitivity (tooth sensitivity).
Common causes of tooth sensitivity include untreated tooth decay, gum disease, loss of tooth enamel, and more. Thankfully, there are many options for relieving sensitive tooth pain, including several quick and easy-to-implement home remedies.
1. Desensitizing toothpaste
Desensitizing toothpaste contains ingredients that help prevent or reduce tooth sensitivity. For example, many people contain potassium nitrate, which numbs the nerves in the teeth to prevent tooth pain.
Another ingredient is stannous fluoride, which blocks the small tube holes in teeth that lead to nerves, preventing pain. Many desensitizing toothpastes also have fewer ingredients than regular toothpastes, so fewer irritants reach the nerves of the teeth.
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2. Soft bristle toothbrush
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause abrasive brushing that damages the enamel of your teeth, which protects the nerves in your teeth. Also, brushing too hard can cause the gums to recede, exposing the teeth to more irritants.
Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush can reduce enamel removal and protect your gums to keep your teeth strong.
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3. Saline rinse
Irritated and inflamed nerves can lead to tooth sensitivity, so rinsing with salt water twice a day can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Simply mix 1 cup warm water with ½ teaspoon salt and gargle around your mouth for a few minutes. Spit out when done.
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Using a fluoride mouthwash can help strengthen tooth enamel and protect tooth roots and nerves, thereby reducing pain. If you need stronger fluoride, your dentist may prescribe fluoride for you to use at home.
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5. Hydrogen peroxide
As a mild antiseptic and disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide acts like a saline rinse and reduces inflammation. It also heals sore or damaged gums, thereby reducing tooth sensitivity.
To rinse it yourself, mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (3% hydrogen peroxide works best) with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Shake it around your mouth for a few minutes and spit out when you’re done.
Be aware of some remedies
Caution should be exercised when using some of these drugs, such as hydrogen peroxide, so don’t overdo it. For example, using a higher-than-guided concentration of hydrogen peroxide (3% in this case) can damage the enamel of your teeth.
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6. Anti-inflammatory foods
Including foods with anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric, ginger, and cloves in your diet can help relieve sensitive tooth pain.
You can add them to your dishes, or in some cases, you can apply them directly to the affected teeth. For example, you can use a cotton swab to apply clove oil to your teeth to numb the pain. Or you can apply ground ginger directly to your teeth.
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7. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is popular in baking and is another of many home remedies for toothache.
Vanilla extract contains eugenol, which acts as a pain reliever, and alcohol, which can numb pain. You can apply it directly to the affected tooth using a cotton swab or fingertips.
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8. Coconut Oil
Like some of the other toothache home remedies listed here, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce or eliminate toothaches.
To apply, simply gargle with 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil for two minutes and spit out when done.
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Another food that relieves pain from sensitive teeth, garlic contains allicin, which can help eliminate bacteria and reduce pain.
You can place garlic flakes on your teeth, or make and apply a garlic paste (mix water with ½ teaspoon salt) to apply garlic directly to your teeth.
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If these home remedies for toothache don’t relieve your sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend other more serious medical options. For example, your dentist may recommend a sealant or adhesive resin to protect your teeth.
If your pain is severe, your dentist may recommend root canal treatment to remove inflamed or infected pulp from your teeth so your teeth can heal and reduce or eliminate your tooth sensitivity.
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If your sensitive tooth pain persists or worsens after using any of these home remedies for toothache, call your dentist right away to schedule an appointment for a further checkup.
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Suffering from sensitive tooth pain can be difficult and uncomfortable, but there are several home remedies for tooth pain that can relieve the pain. Try these different remedies to find out what works best for you.
If your toothache persists after using these home remedies for toothache, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a dental exam and consultation.
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If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity, there are many ways to relieve it. Treating sensitive teeth as soon as possible is important to avoid more serious dental problems. If these home remedies for tooth pain don’t help, discuss clinical treatment with your dentist right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes tooth sensitivity?
There are many reasons for tooth sensitivity. These include brushing too hard, cavities, broken teeth or cracked fillings, gum disease, grinding and other oral hygiene-related problems.
Why do I suddenly feel my teeth are sensitive?
If you have sudden tooth sensitivity, it may be due to a broken or cracked tooth or filling. It can also be due to inflammation of the gums or the nerves of the teeth.
How to whiten sensitive teeth?
Many tooth whiteners can erode your teeth, causing increased tooth sensitivity. There are tooth whiteners designed specifically for sensitive teeth, but you should consult with your dentist to see which ones are best for you.