What causes tooth sensitivity and how to prevent it

Have you ever stopped in the middle of something while enjoying a glass of something very cold, and was it due to the sudden pain that shot up when your teeth made contact with that ice cold drink? If you answered yes, it is time for you to pay more attention to your oral health. Toothaches that occur when exposed to something hot, cold, or acidic are usually the result of tooth sensitivity. To learn more about sensitive tooth pain and how to treat it naturally, read on.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when a material inside your tooth, called dentin, loses its protective enamel covering or an outer layer called cementum. This exposes the nerve endings of your tooth to hot, cold and acidic foods, which increases tooth sensitivity.

Some common factors that contribute to tooth sensitivity are:

  • Damage to tooth enamel when using a hard toothbrush
  • Tooth eroded by highly acidic foods and beverages
  • Dental caries
  • Worn tooth fillings
  • Broken tooth
  • Gum retraction
  • Grinding your teeth (at night)
  • A dental procedure
  • Whitening treatment

Symptoms of sensitive teeth:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity to hot, cold and acidic foods
  • Tooth pain while breathing cold air
  • Gum retraction
  • Redness or swelling of the gums

With proper treatment, you can restore your oral health and correct tooth sensitivity. Here are some easy and effective natural remedies that will help relieve sensitive tooth pain.

Home remedies for sensitive tooth pain

1. Oil pulling with coconut oil

Oil pulling (the term for mouthwashes) with coconut oil has a wide range of benefits for your oral health. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil can help reduce tooth pain.

What you have to do is swish or rinse with a tablespoon of virgin oil leaving it in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, then spit it out and brush your teeth very well. You should do this once a day, preferably every morning.

2. Rinse with salt water

Salt has natural antiseptic properties and is also known to reduce inflammation. This helps reduce pain in your teeth.

Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Mix well and use the solution to rinse your mouth. You should do this twice a day.

3. Yogurt

Yogurt helps reduce the demineralization of tooth enamel and thus helps fight tooth sensitivity and its symptoms. Eat half a bowl of plain yogurt once a day.

4. Guava leaves to help with tooth sensitivity

Guava leaves contain flavonoids like quercetin and rutin that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. These flavonoids help relieve sensitive tooth pain.

Take some guava leaves and wash them well. Chew them for 1 to 2 minutes and then spit them out. You should do these 1 to 2 times a day.

5. Garlic

Garlic compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help treat tooth and toothache pain caused by sensitivity and also fight oral pathogens.

  1. Crush a clove of garlic.
  2. Add a few drops of water and a pinch of salt.
  3. Apply the mixture to the affected tooth.
  4. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off with water.
  5. Do this once a day.

6. Onion

Onions have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight oral pathogens and effectively treat pain and inflammation around the tooth. Chew a small piece of onion for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can place a piece of onion near the affected tooth and gums and leave it in for about 10 minutes. You should do these 1 to 2 times a day.

7. Essential oils to help with sensitive teeth

Clove oil

You need:

  • 6 drops of clove oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil


  1. Add six drops of clove oil to one teaspoon of coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply to affected gums and teeth.
  3. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.

You should do these 1 to 2 times a day.

The analgesic effect of clove oil helps numb the affected tooth and gums, relieving pain almost immediately. The natural microbicidal properties of clove oil can also help kill oral pathogens.

Tea tree oil

You will need to

  • 6 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

What you have to do

  1. Add six drops of tea tree oil to one teaspoon of coconut oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to the affected tooth and gums.
  3. Let it act for 5-10 minutes before washing it off.

Do this 1-2 times a day.

Tea tree oil is another essential oil that works well in treating pain that arises with tooth sensitivity. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that have an impressive effect on your oral health. Don’t swallow the essential oil blend.

8. Vitamins

If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you should make sure you are getting enough vitamins E and B. Together, these vitamins help fight inflammation in the affected area and promote healthy gums and teeth.

You can get the required amounts of these vitamins by consuming foods such as almonds, spinach, kale, turnips, fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products, all of organic origin and free range.

Prevention tips to avoid tooth sensitivity

While following the above remedies, it is also important to take some precautions to avoid tooth sensitivity in the future. The following are some basic changes you can make to your lifestyle to get rid of sensitive tooth pain.

  1. Use a soft bristle brush.
  2. Brush your teeth gently.
  3. Avoid grinding your teeth.
  4. Cut down on acidic foods.
  5. Follow good oral hygiene.
  6. Visit your dentist regularly to keep track of your oral health.

In addition to acidic foods, you should also avoid consuming the following foods.

  • Frozen
  • Sodas
  • Hot coffee / tea
  • Sweet
  • Sticky toffee
  • Citric fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Ice and cold drinks

Tooth sensitivity can be easily managed by following a proper oral regimen and eliminating certain foods from your diet. However, if you develop severe and excruciating toothache, it’s best to visit a dentist right away.

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