Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

Medically reviewed by Christine Frank, DDS on December 1, 2017Written by Kiara Anthony

Pain relief for sensitive teeth

Regular dental appointments are just as important as doctor appointments, especially if you begin to experience consistent toothaches after eating cold foods or beverages. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about 40 million people in the United States experience some form of tooth sensitivity.

Finding the source of your sensitivity is important to recommending treatment. To ease the pain in the meantime, there are some home remedies you can try until your next dental appointment.

8 home remedies for pain relief

1. Desensitizing toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste contains compounds that help to shield nerve endings from irritants. The most active ingredient is potassium nitrate, a compound that blocks pain signals travelling from a nerve in your tooth to your brain.

After a few uses, your sensitivity will reduce. Dentists also recommend using a soft-bristle toothbrush and low-acid or fluoride mouthrinses.

2. Salt water rinse

Salt is an effective antiseptic and it can also help to reduce inflammation. To alleviate pain symptoms from sensitive teeth, gargle with a salt water rinse twice daily. To use a salt water rinse:

  • Add ½ to ¾ tsp of salt to a glass of lukewarm water and mix well.
  • Swish the solution in your mouth for up to 30 seconds.
  • Spit out the solution.

3. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic and disinfectant. It is commonly used to help sterilize cuts, burns and other wounds to prevent infection. You can also use peroxide as a mouthrinse to heal gums and prevent inflammation. To use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthrinse:

  • Add two caps of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to equal parts warm water.
  • Swish the solution in your mouth for up to 30 seconds.
  • Spit out the solution.
  • Rinse your mouth with water afterwards to remove any remaining hydrogen peroxide.

4. Honey and warm water

Honey is an antibacterial agent, and can be used for wound management. Honey can help to speed healing, and reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.

To reduce pain from sensitive teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water and a spoonful of honey. This rinse will promote oral healing.

5. Turmeric

In addition to cooking, turmeric can be used as an anti-inflammatory treatment. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used in Ayurvedic treatments, in treatments for digestive orders, and as an agent to enhance wound healing.

For oral health and to alleviate pain from sensitive teeth, you can massage ground turmeric on the teeth. An alternative is to make a topical paste from 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp mustard oil. Apply this paste to the teeth and gums twice a day for pain relief.

6. Green tea

Green tea is another product known for its health benefits. It has been used in cancer prevention and cardiovascular health studies for its antioxidant effect and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea can also help in oral health.

For sensitive teeth, use unsweetened green tea as a mouthwash twice a day to strengthen teeth and reduce inflammation.

7. Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a compound found in chili peppers and many other hot peppers. It is what makes these peppers spicy. Capsaicin has analgesic properties, and has been used to treat burning mouth syndrome by reducing inflammation and pain.

For sensitive teeth, you can use capsaicin as a topical gel or through a mouthrinse. It may burn initially, but will eventually reduce pain symptoms after continued use.

8. Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract contains antiseptic and pain-relieving properties. It has been used to treat babies’ pain and discomfort when they begin teething.

To treat sensitive teeth, pour vanilla extract onto a cotton ball. Apply the cotton ball to your gums for a few minutes, and repeat the process as often as needed.

Prevention

While home remedies can temporarily relieve pain symptoms, there are some things you can do to prevent more damage to your teeth. Prevention methods include:

  • maintaining good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and mouth clean
  • using a softer brush to prevent irritation and abrasions
  • limiting the amount of acidic foods and beverages you consume to prevent dissolving tooth enamel
  • scheduling regular dental visits
  • using a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth

Outlook

There are a number of home remedies you can use to treat oral pain and teeth sensitivity. However, professional solutions to oral pain are recommended. Home remedies can alleviate pain temporarily, but may not cure the source of your discomfort.

If your symptoms persist after a few days, you may need additional treatment. Discuss your options with your dentist at your next appointment.

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