We know tooth sensitivity is a sore subject (pun intended), and that the pain of a toothache is unlike any other pain. That feeling when you open your mouth to take a deep breath, quench your thirst with a cold drink, take a bite of a delicious hot meal....and you’re suddenly head to head with sharp, stunning pain.
A national survey by the Journal of the American Dental Association shows that 1 in 8 Americans experience tooth sensitivity, so we want to help you understand it and keep it at bay. That’s exactly why we wanted to share our top tips for natural toothache relief.
what causes sensitive teeth all of a sudden?
While tooth sensitivity can seem to appear out of nowhere, it can actually take some time to emerge. Sensitive teeth are a result of so many different conditions, including but not limited to:
- exposed dentin: dentin is the tissue that lies underneath your enamel (the hard outer surface of your tooth) and contains microscopic “tubes” that lead to your tooth’s center nerve. If your enamel is scratched or worn down by the bacteria in plaque, it can expose your tooth’s dentin, allowing foods, drinks, acids, bacteria, and more to reach the very sensitive nerve at your tooth’s center.
- gum disease: gum disease is the infection of the gums, which is typically the result of poor oral hygiene and/or genetics. It occurs when bacteria and other microorganisms get comfortable in your gums (usually gums that have receded), and they become inflamed and tender. Prolonged infections can cause serious damage and pain at the root of your tooth.
- tooth pulp inflammation: tooth decay (aka, worn down enamel described in point 1) can extend into the “pulp” of your tooth. The pulp contains the nerves, tissue, and blood supply below the dentin. When tooth decay extends to this portion of the tooth, it can cause severe toothaches...and require intervention from a dental professional.
The truth is, these conditions are influenced by so many different factors including genetics, poor oral hygiene, aggressive brushing, certain ingredients in oral care products (namely, peroxides and acids), and overall vitamin deficiencies in your body.
Because there’s so much variability in what causes sensitive teeth, we can’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution. But what we can do is give you some information and tools to create your own remedies....with the help of your dentist, of course!
how to stop tooth pain fast
We understand the need for a quick fix when you experience that sudden pain in your tooth. Below are a few natural, at-home remedies to soothe sensitive teeth...quick!
- salt+water rinse: salt+water helps to regulate the pH balance in your mouth. Salt’s antiseptic abilities kill off harmful bacteria that can lead to pain (from tooth sensitivity and more).
- garlic: garlic has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory capabilities, which means it can soothe your oral discomfort while killing bad bacteria. Make your own “relief paste” by grinding garlic cloves, salt, and water. Apply the paste to the sensitive area and leave it for five minutes. Then rinse with warm saltwater.
- onion: did you know a slice of onion alone can act as an anti-inflammatory? Simply cut a piece and place it on the aching tooth for five minutes. Then rinse with warm saltwater.
- clove oil: clove oil contains a natural anesthetic called eugenol. To temporarily relieve pain, put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and gently wipe it over the affected tooth/gum.
- peppermint oil: okay, maybe you’re thinking all of the above options would taste terrible, but rest assured peppermint oil is antibacterial, has a mild numbing effect, and tastes great. You can get a dose of peppermint oil by using Davids Natural Toothpaste, or if you have it as a bottled essential oil, you can apply it to your tooth using a cotton ball.
Please note that we don’t recommend fully relying on these remedies to treat tooth sensitivity in the long term. While these methods can provide immediate relief, long-term relief requires continuous, intentional care.
natural toothache relief for the long haul
We don’t believe in relying on quick fixes, so here are some tools to help soothe your sensitive teeth in the long run.
Davids Natural Toothpaste
While we do not market Davids as a sensitive toothpaste, we’ve had many customers report that Davids works wonders for their sensitive teeth. Our mild, naturally derived ingredients are selected with intention. They work to gently+effectively clean your teeth without causing discomfort.
As baking soda neutralizes acids in your mouth, calcium carbonate (crushed powdered limestone) is believed to alleviate sensitivity by plugging the “tubes” that lead to the nerves. While all this action is going on, our natural blend of peppermint oil is fighting bacteria, providing an invigorating sensation, and freshening your breath.
Vitamins play a vital role in your oral health, so you should always consult with a doctor to figure out if you’re deficient in any major vitamins.
What deficiency causes sensitive teeth? Any of the following could play a role:
- calcium: the “strong teeth and bones” vitamin you heard about growing up.
- vitamin D: as the nutrient absorber, vitamin D helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus. Without it, your teeth could be prone to tooth decay and fracture.
- phosphorous: also helps your body absorb calcium.
- potassium: helps promote bone density and strengthen your enamel.
- vitamin C: along with promoting a healthy immune system, vitamin C helps maintain healthy bones, cartilage, and teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
If you’re deficient in any of these, we encourage you to reframe your diet to focus on foods with high nutrient density....or take supplements.
If you haven’t heard of nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA), check out our previous blog post here. In short, it’s a calcium-based mineral that naturally occurs throughout your body. Unlike other sensitive toothpastes, hydroxyapatite toothpaste is non-toxic and relieves sensitivity at the source (rather than covering it with a band-aid).
Hydroxyapatite has the unique ability to bind to your enamel, rebuild weak areas, and physically plug those exposed “tubes” to relieve sensitivity. So hydroxyapatite toothpaste is one of the best long-term solutions to sensitivity, and we can’t wait to tell you more about our plans for it at Davids.
be gentle on your mouth and yourself
We know that the pain of sensitive teeth can make you want to settle for a quick fix (no matter what chemicals that might involve), but we want to encourage you to be gentle on your mouth and yourself. Your oral microbiome is a delicate place, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain your oral health with natural, effective, and holistic products....like Davids Natural Toothpaste.