Ouch! Tame Tooth Sensitivity Naturally

Monday Nov 26 | BY |
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Sensitive teeth can keep you from enjoying your foods. Try natural solutions that soothe pain and improve gum health.

Do you experience tooth sensitivity? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about a quarter of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have problems with sensitive teeth. Those who had diabetes had an increased risk.

Toothpaste manufacturers have been quick to meet the need, producing several sensitivity toothpastes that typically take care of the problem, as long as you use them regularly. But on the other hand, many of these toothpastes have sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), dyes, triclosan, fluoride, and other chemicals that have been linked to potential health problems. Is there a natural solution to sensitive teeth?

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
In general, there are three main causes of sensitive teeth:

  • Receding gums
  • Worn enamel
  • Tooth decay

Brushing too hard, consuming too many acidic foods, and grinding your teeth can all wear away the enamel, leaving the sensitive nerve roots more exposed to things like hot and cold drinks and foods, and sweet or sour items.

Receding gums—when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls back, exposing more of the root—can also be caused by brushing too hard and grinding your teeth, as well as by aging, periodontal disease, inadequate dental hygiene, hormonal changes, and even your genes. If you have receding gums, check with your dentist right away. He or she may recommend a deep cleaning to get rid of any plaque or tartar buildup. If the pockets are too deep, gum surgery may be necessary to repair the damage.

Whatever’s causing your sensitive teeth, one thing is clear—it hurts. If you don’t want to turn to sensitive toothpaste, here are some other options.

Natural Solutions
Several of these are known to help treat receding gums and ease tooth sensitivity. If you try them, let us know how they work! Of course, make sure you’re regularly brushing and flossing.

  • Aloe vera: This really is a wonder-plant. In addition to its ability to help heal burns and wounds on the skin, it can also help tame inflammation and pain in the gums. Try applying the gel to the sore areas a couple times a day to tame sensitivity.
  • Hypericum or arnica: These homeopathic remedies are well known for their ability to soothe the nerves and ease pain. Try hypericum or arnica cream directly on the painful tooth.
  • Silicea: This is another homeopathic remedy that’s often used to treat dry skin, nails, and hair, but it can also help calm inflammation and soothe aching teeth. A natural mineral that’s part of the structural makeup of bone and cartilage, it can help strengthen teeth and restore normal function. Try dissolving a tablet of silicea in water and sip throughout the day.
  • Sesame oil: An ancient Ayurvedic remedy, sesame oil swished in the mouth can help strengthen receding gums and fight the bacteria that cause gum disease. This is called “oil pulling.” Try for several weeks before expecting results. Tea tree oil is also known as a good germ fighter. Use diluted in water.
  • Cinnamon and clove: Another Ayurvedic remedy, mixing cinnamon and clove in water (boil for 20-30 minutes) kills bacteria in the mouth, preventing further deterioration of the gums and helping to stop additional sensitivity. You can also try mixing about ¼ teaspoon clove with water and applying it directly to the sore tooth.
  • Myrrh or propolis: Add about 10 drops of either of these to a glass of water and gargle for at least 30 seconds three times daily. Over time, your gums should firm up and better protect your teeth.
  • Echinacea and vitamin C: Try a supplement of Echinacea and vitamin C in water to kill bacteria and make gums and teeth healthier.
  • Thyme or sage tea: Either of these teas, if you drink them regularly, can help kill germs and freshen breath, and may help reduce sensitivity.
  • Fennel, white oak bark and horsetail: Use this mixture as a rinse every morning and night. Use about 7 drops of each. The fennel soothes pain, the white oak firms gums, and the horsetail decreases any bleeding or inflammation.
  • Chamomile: Drink this as a tea and it can help reduce inflammation and fight off bacteria in the mouth.
  • Yarrow: This herb has several antiseptic and astringent qualities, and can help prevent gum recession—simply rub over your teeth.
  • Ditch fluoride? Some people have experienced a lessening or complete cure of sensitive teeth after they stopped using fluoride-containing toothpastes. Perhaps something worth trying?

Have you tried natural remedies for sensitive teeth? What worked for you?

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Barbara Bloom, et al., “Oral Health Status and Access to Oral Health Care for U.S. Adults Aged 18–64: National Health Interview Survey, 2008,” Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, Number 253, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_253.pdf.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Nadia Harper says:

    I also use gum massage with my fingertip, massaging the gums down over the teeth. And I apply (and sometimes massage with) coconut oil on the gumline.

    I have an entire, all natural healthy tooth protocol here;


  2. Gino says:

    Are there any tooth care products that address tooth sensitivity that you can provice? Can you use coconut oil for oil pulling?

    Thanks you.

  3. Louis Dupont says:

    According to Dr. Mark Starr (book = Hypothyroidism Type 2), receeding gums may be a symptom of hypothyroidism.
    · Check your armpit temperature before getting out of bed. Allow 10 minutes for stabilisation.
    · 36.6°C / 97.8°F is the norm.
    If significantly below this, request TSH, free T4, free T3 testing to assess thyroid health.
    Peripheral resistance to thyroid hormone (Hypothyroidism type 2) is also a consideration (TSH will be normal but hypothyroidism symptoms are present).

  4. Jayvanthy says:

    A small wad (size-Half a Pea) of clinical cotton, dipped in clove oil & placed on the tooth is an old, very effective Grandma remedy.

  5. violet says:

    You don’t want to do the clove oil thing too often, though. It kills the pain by killing the nerves! Read it somewhere…

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