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Franklyn Alexander, DDS
General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Patients Choice Winner 2016

Sensitive Teeth: Solutions Beyond Toothpaste?

If you fall into the quarter of American adults that suffer from sensitive teeth, you know how frustrating and painful it can be. While there are toothpastes designed to help with this problem, many of them contain chemicals that have been linked to other health issues. Are there any other options when it comes to relief from tooth sensitivity?

What causes sensitive teeth?

First, it’s important to know the causes behind sensitive teeth. The top three reasons for tooth sensitivity are:

  • receding gums
  • worn down enamel
  • decay

While these may stem from aging or genetic predisposition, there are other lifestyle factors that can have an impact. Changing your diet or lifestyle may be enough to provide relief from your sensitivity. Here are some options to consider:

  • Don’t brush too hard
  • Cut back on acidic and sugary foods
  • If you grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about a solution
  • Improve your dental hygiene with routine brushing and flossing
  • Have your dentist check to see if you have periodontal disease

What Are Some Natural Solutions?

If the above options aren’t enough to reduce sensitivity, there are natural solutions to consider. Some treat the pain, while others are effective at killing bacteria, which can cut down on sensitivity.

  • Chamomile tea: Drinking this can fight off bacteria and cut back on inflammation.
  • Myrrh: Add about 10 drops to water and gargle for 30 seconds. Do this three times each day to strengthen the gums and better protect your teeth.
  • Aloe vera: Apply the gel to your sore gums a few times each day to battle sensitivity and inflammation.
  • Fennel, white oak bark, and horsetail mixture: Make this mixture by adding about 7 drops of each to a cup. Use it as a rinse in the morning and at night. The white oak bark will firm your gums, the fennel will ease the pain, and the horsetail will reduce inflammation.
  • Cinnamon and clove mixture: Mix these two in some water and boil it for 20-30 minutes. Once it cools, swish it in your mouth to prevent gum deterioration.
  • Oil pulling: Use sesame oil or tea tree oil diluted in water to kill bacteria and strengthen gums by swishing it around in your mouth.
  • Silicea: This is a mineral found naturally in bone and cartilage. It can strengthen teeth and relieve pain. Dissolve a tablet in water and drink it throughout the day.