Sensitive teeth are a surefire way to turn an enjoyable meal into a world of pain. And quickly. You could be indulging in your favorite citrus fruits or your favorite ice cream when you’re suddenly besieged by a surge of pain coming through your teeth. And even if you brush your teeth, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll lose the sensitivity any time soon. So what causes sensitive teeth, anyway? And what home remedies for sensitive teeth can you use?
Dentin exposure is what causes sensitive teeth
To understand sensitive teeth causes, let’s take a little refresher on the parts of a tooth. There are three layers of the tooth: the enamel and cementum form the outermost layer, followed by the dentin, then the dental pulp.
- The outer layers (enamel and cementum) are usually harder and sturdier to protect the teeth from any environmental threats. By limiting access to the whole tooth, these outer layers also help reduce pain or tooth discomfort you might feel.
- The dental pulp, on the other hand, is your tooth’s innermost layer. While this network of nerves and blood vessels don’t play too much of a role once the tooth is fully formed, it does help during the development stage. More importantly, it’s what feels the sensations transmitted to the teeth.
- Finally, the dentin is the mid-layer that forms most of the teeth. It sends the sensations through its network of hollow canals to the dental pulp.
When it comes to what causes sensitive teeth, the dentin plays a significant role. Because it’s the layer of the tooth that transmits sensation, the more exposed it is, the more sensitive your teeth feel. And these sensitive teeth causes can vary.
For some, tooth pain happens because of receding gums. Or tooth decay that’s eaten through most of your tooth enamel. Or maybe a general thinning of the outer layers in general. Which of the home remedies for sensitive teeth you use, then, will depend on what causes sensitive teeth.
Choosing home remedies for sensitive teeth
While dentin exposure is what generally causes sensitive teeth, getting the right solution for sensitive teeth still depends on the exact reason for it. These reasons include:
- Enamel wear
- Chipped tooth
- Receding gums
For the most part, tooth sensitivity should go away once you treat the exact cause. And, for the most part, a trip to the dental office should solve the problem. The more severe the reason, the more you need to book that appointment.
But what if you have a minor case of sensitive teeth? Or what if you can’t see a dentist right away? In that case, your home remedies for sensitive teeth should stave it over for the moment. In the meantime, here’s what you can do:
- Use fluoride toothpaste. If you have a case of thin enamel in its earliest stages, a dose of fluoride should help reverse the effects. And, consequently, make your teeth feel less sensitive. Better yet, use one with a desensitizing agent.
- Gargle some salt water. Saltwater isn’t just good for a sore throat or canker sores in the throat. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce any swelling that comes with sensitive teeth causes. As a bonus, the salt can also disinfect any areas affected by tooth decay.