Tooth Sensitivity & Herbal Solutions
Bright and beautiful teeth are an attractive asset. They provide self-confidence, improve the quality of life and allow to feel more natural. It is not only for appearance that one has healthy teeth but they have an important effect on the diet, health and overall sense of well being. Taking good care of mouth, teeth and gums is a worthy goal in and of itself. Oral and dental hygiene can prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum diseases. The human teeth are coated with an outer protective layer of enamel and an inner layer of dentine. When the enamel of tooth wears down, it becomes susceptible to very hot, cold, sweet and acidic foods and drinks which work their way through the tiny tubules in the dentine and irritate the underlying nerves. When this happens, one might feel a shocking sensation that can radiate through the tooth for moments to hours.
Are your teeth tender? Does drinking an ice-cold beverage cause dental discomfort? Do you find yourself wincing when you brush or floss? You could have what’s known as tooth sensitivity. You don’t have to put up with pain however. Here’s why you could be experiencing this mouth malady.
1. Brushing with too much force
Sometimes tooth sensitivity comes from brushing the teeth with too much force and using hard bristled tooth brush. Over time, the protective layers of tooth wear down exposing the sensitive dentine and hence the dental nerves which get exposed to extreme temperature or acidic or sticky foods resulting in discomfort and tooth sensitivity.
2. Eating acidic foods
If the pathways to the nerves are exposed, acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi and pickles can cause pain. Highly acidic foods can also cause gum line to recede which exposes the nerves.
3. Teeth grinding
Even though tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, grinding teeth can wear down the enamel. By doing so, dentine gets exposed which contains hollow tubes that lead to nerves.
4. Using tooth whitening tooth pastes
Many manufacturers add tooth whitening chemicals to their tooth paste formulas and a class of people are more sensitive to them than others.
5. Excessive use of mouthwashes
Mouthwashes and rinses contain alcohol and other chemicals that can make teeth more sensitive especially if dentine is exposed.
6. Gum disease
Receding gums, which are increasingly common with age, can cause tooth sensitivity.
7. Excessive plaque
An excessive build up of plaque can cause tooth enamel to wear away making the teeth more sensitive.
8. Any dental procedure
It’s common to experience some sensitivity after a root canal, an extraction or placement of a crown.
9. Cracked tooth
A chipped or a cracked tooth can cause pain that goes beyond tooth sensitivity.
10.Decay around edges of fillings
As one gets older, fillings can weaken and fracture and leak around the edges. It’s easy for the bacteria to accumulate in these tiny crevices which cause acid build up and enamel breakdown.
Foods to avoid the sensitivity of teeth
Leaving certain foods off of your menu like hot, cold, sugary, sticky and acidic may help ease tooth sensitivity.
One of the top foods to avoid for sensitive teeth. Soda has two ingredients that can irritate the exposed dentine that is sugar and acid.
2. Ice cream
Ice cream is not only cold, but it has sugar that can cause teeth to be more sensitive.
3. Hot coffee
Hot coffee can also cause the teeth to hurt. Sweetening the steaming coffee with sugar can make pain even worse. Adding some milk to coffee helps slightly lower the temperature of coffee as well as its acidity.
Hard candies such as lollipops, peppermints and suckers are full of sugar that can cause pain and can also cause the tooth to chip or break.
Sweet treats such as toffee, caramel and gummy bears besides being full of sugar, can also stick to teeth. Extremely sticky and sweet foods can stimulate the nerves in the dentine.
Pineapple, grapefruit, lemons and limes are all highly acidic fruits and can make teeth more sensitive.
Although tomatoes are a good source of vitamins especially Vitamin C, they are also highly acidic so be sure to avoid them if teeth are sensitive.
Ice can be problematic for sensitive teeth as it is both cold and hard.
Steps to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity
1. Brush gently
Use a soft bristled tooth brush with ADA (American Dental Association) accepted seal of approval. Using short strokes, brush the teeth twice a day in a gentle up and down motion and not side to side.
2. Avoid acidic foods and drinks
Instead of eating citrus fruits and carbonated drinks by themselves, try adding them to meal. The other foods serve as a buffer which helps lower the ph levels in mouth and be sure to wait for 30 minutes after eating citrus fruits to brush the teeth. Acid weakens the enamel of teeth and brushing too soon may damage the enamel.
3. Bite down on a mouth guard
Since people commonly grind their teeth at night, talk to the dentist about being fitted by a mouth guard that can be worn while sleeping. Because tooth grinding is often a sign of stress, one may also need to incorporate more distressing lifestyle changes like exercise, meditation etc.
4. Use desensitizing toothpaste
If the toothpaste contains a whitening agent or chemical, try switching those which doesn’t. Use over the counter desensitizing tooth paste which contain compounds that block the transmission of sensation from tooth to nerve. Use it twice daily. For very tender areas, try rubbing a bit of it directly on the tooth.
5. Rinse with fluoride mouthwash
The fluoride in the fluoride mouthwashes can strengthen the teeth’s enamel layer helping to protect against sensitivity. In addition, fluoride can also protect against tooth decay and cavities. Just remember to rinse daily with a mouthwash after brushing the teeth.
6. Consider in-office treatments
Gel fluoride treatments, crowns, inlays or bonding cover sensitive areas on the teeth. If gum disease or gingivitis is the problem dentist will come up with a plan to treat the underlying disease and may also suggest a procedure to seal the teeth. For severe cases, one can also have a gum graft procedure that removes a section of the gum from one area of the mouth and move it to area where gums have receded. If pain can’t be managed, a root canal to remove the nerve is done.
7. Skip the tooth bleaching
Both at home whitening kits and in-office teeth whitening procedures can cause some temporary sensitivity. So if one has sensitive teeth and want to brighten the teeth as pearly white, be sure to visit the dentist to know about the sensitive teeth.
Common Home Remedies to Cure the Sensitivity of Teeth
1.Salt and pepper
Ingredients with antiinflammatory and analgesic properties. Mixing these two ingredients in equal amount with water and applying to affected tooth can provide the relief.
Has anti-biotic properties. Take some garlic cloves and crush them with little amount of black salt. Applying this mixture directly on the painful tooth will immediately reduce the pain.
Have an antiinflammatory, antioxidant and anaesthetic properties. Take one or two cloves and grind them and mix little amount of olive oil to it. Applying this mixture on sensitive tooth helps in reducing the pain.
Have an antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which are very useful in tooth aches.
Adding a pinch of asafetida to some lemon juice and warming the mixture slightly and applying with a cotton piece to the affected area will provide immediate relief.
6. Guava leaves
When you chew the guava leaves the juice of leaves start working in reducing sensitivity of teeth.
7. Warm salt water
Rinsing the mouth with a mixture of common salt and hot water reduces the pain and inflammation attached with sensitive teeth.
8. Mustard oil and rock salt
Mixture of mustard oil and rock salt when applied to sensitive tooth, helps in relieving toothache and sensitivity.