Does your tooth hurt when you drink coffee or eat ice cream? Or you felt pain while sipping on cold drink? If doing any of the things mentioned above caused you pain, maybe you have tooth sensitive to hot and cold. When your tooth reacts to hot or cold food, it means there is an advanced problem happening in your mouth which needs attention and treatment.

This article will chalk out some home remedies for sensitive teeth like applying capsaicin gel or turmeric paste to alleviate pain. Also, you will become aware of when to change the toothbrush or how to brush in the correct manner.

What does tooth sensitive to hot and cold mean?

In case of healthy teeth, enamel protects the crown of your tooth above the gum line. Whereas, cementum protects the tooth root below the gum line. Dentin lies underneath both enamel and cementum.

Dentin contains microscopic tubules and is less dense than enamel and cementum. When there is a loss of enamel and cementum, the open dentinal tubules allow hot and cold or acidic food to reach the nerves inside the tooth. This cause teeth sensitivity.

Causes of tooth sensitivity

Possible causes of sensitivity are

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth fracture
  • Worn out restorations
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Recession of gum tissue
  • Worn out enamel
  • Decay underneath an existing filling
  • Cold sensitivity

Home remedies

You can follow home remedies to deal with sensitive teeth but do not skip the oral care instructions at any cost.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects. To reduce pain caused due to sensitivity you can massage ground turmeric on the sensitive area or affected tooth.

You can make a topical paste using turmeric, salt and, mustard oil. Apply this paste to the teeth and gums twice daily for relief. (1)

2. Vanilla extract

Pour some vanilla extract onto a cotton ball and apply cotton ball to your gums for a few minutes to get relief from sensitivity.  Vanilla extract contains antiseptic and pain relief properties.

3. Capsaicin

Capsaicin which found in chili peppers has analgesic properties. Capsaicin is used to treat Burning Mouth Syndrome and can be used for sensitive teeth also.

Apply capsaicin gel to get relief or use capsaicin as a mouth rinse. Initially, it may burn, but the pain will reduce eventually. (2)

If sensitivity lingers on even after following home remedies, then do not delay your visit to the dentist. Home remedies give temporary relief and are not a permanent solution to your problem.

What can you do to reduce sensitivity caused by hot and cold?

Few simple changes you can bring in your oral regime to manage the pain caused by sensitive teeth are

Change your toothpaste brand

Some toothpaste like whitening toothpaste increases sensitivity problem due to higher abrasive content. Tartar control toothpaste contains sodium pyrophosphate which increases sensitivity on regular use.

There are several kinds of toothpaste that are designed for people with sensitive teeth. These toothpastes should be used for a month for therapeutic results to show.

Toothpaste intended to treat sensitivity contain potassium nitrate which helps depolarize nerve endings in teeth. Potassium nitrate helps block the sensitivity triggers and help strengthen tooth enamel to eradicate pain.

You can purchase sensitivity toothpaste over the counter, but it is always advisable to consult your dentist once. (3)

Change your brush and brushing habit

If you use a hard-bristled toothbrush or brush too hard, then it is time to change your toothbrush and habit. Brushing too vigorously causes wearing off of the tooth surface, recession of gums, subsequent loss of cementum and the result is exposure of nerves leading to sensitivity.

Change your brush every three months. Check your toothbrush to see if the bristles are flared and pointing at multiple directions. If they are so, then you need to change your brushing technique.

Avoid certain foods

Some food and drink aggravate sensitivity issue. Acidic items cause erosion of tooth surface and can lead to sensitivity. Limit intake of acidic fruits like tomatoes, lemons, and oranges. Limit or avoid the consumption of carbonated beverages.

When to visit a dentist?

To visit the dentist for a consult should always be the first line of action and if your sensitivity doesn’t go even after following the remedies, then you may need treatment of the affected tooth.

  • If you have a cavity which is causing sensitivity, then your dentist will fill the decay.
  • If there is an existing filling with decay underneath the filling, then your dentist will replace the existing filling
  • The dentist may use bonding material to fix cracked teeth caused by some physical incident which you weren’t aware of.
  • In case of deep infection, fillings won’t suffice, and you will have to undergo root canal therapy. Root canal therapy has become a simple procedure that doesn’t cause pain or harm due to all the medical advances in recent years.
    In root canal therapy, the dentist cleans the pulp canal and fills the canal with a material which goes by the name gutta-percha. After root canal therapy a crown is placed over the tooth.
    American Association of Endodontists suggests seeing your dentist when your sensitivity causes pain for more than 30 seconds after coming in contact with extreme temperature.
  • In case of recession of gum tissue, grafting of gum tissue to cover the tooth root is carried out. Doing this ensures a reduction in tooth sensitivity.

Over to you

Following proper oral care regime is the key to avoid sensitivity related tooth pain. Even due to regular wear and tear or crack due to trauma can cause sensitive teeth. So, to get rid of sensitivity, visit your dentist at the earliest.

When there is a loss of enamel & cementum, the open dentinal tubules allow hot & cold food to reach the nerves of teeth and cause sensitivity