Teeth Sensitivity Treatment

Tooth sensitivity is pain or discomfort from hot and cold foods, or sometimes even air. This is a result of tooth enamel wearing away, exposing the nerves on your teeth.


There are many solutions for reducing tooth sensitivity, some you can do at home and others your dentist will perform. The first step is to get the root cause of your sensitive teeth.

1. Rinse with Salt Water

If you have sensitive teeth, eating cold and hot foods, sweets, or even brushing your teeth can cause pain. The good news is that there are many treatments to help relieve the pain and prevent further sensitivity. The most important step is to schedule a visit with your dentist. They will diagnose the issue and recommend treatment if needed.

When tooth sensitivity sets in, it is usually the result of something that has caused the hard outer layer of enamel to wear away. This leaves the softer inner layer called dentin exposed. The dentin is made up of little tubes that provide a direct route to the nerve. When the dentin is touched by a cold or hot beverage or food, the tiny tubes move which causes the nerve to send a signal of pain.

The good news is that there are ways to treat sensitivity by reducing the amount of dentin that is exposed. Many of these are treatments that can be done at home and others are treatments your dentist will do in-office.

Rinsing with salt water can be a simple but effective treatment for sensitive teeth. To make a salt water rinse, mix one teaspoon of plain table salt with an 8 ounce glass of warm water. Rinse the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds and then spit it out. Repeat this daily to help reduce sensitivity and soothe your gum tissue.

2. Change Your Brushing Routine

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that can be very uncomfortable. It causes pain when you eat or drink hot, cold or sugary foods or drinks. The pain may be short and sharp or lingering and painful. It can affect just one tooth or many teeth. The pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including gum disease or tooth erosion, receding gums, eating acidic foods and some dental procedures such as fillings or dental restoration placement.

Tooth sensitivity typically happens when the softer inner layer of your tooth, called dentine, is exposed, which can be caused by dental erosion (wear and tear) or gum recession. When your dentine is exposed, it contains thousands of tiny tubules that lead directly to your nerve in your tooth, causing the pain you feel.

The best way to treat tooth sensitivity is to brush your teeth regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque that can cause gum disease. You can also try using warmer water while you brush your teeth and brushing your teeth gently, not vigorously or harshly. It is also a good idea to see your dentist for regular cleanings. If your sensitivity is caused by gum disease, they can treat it with a gingivectomy, which removes tissue from the gum to protect the root area of your teeth.

3. Change Your Mouthwash

Tooth sensitivity can occur when the tooth enamel wears down and exposes the soft inner part of your teeth called dentin. Dentin has blood vessels and nerve endings that can trigger pain when irritants reach them, such as hot or cold liquids, chewing, or brushing your teeth.

Too much acid in the diet can also erode tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity. Common causes include acidic foods and drinks like pickles, citrus fruits and juices, soda, coffee, and high-sugar foods like candy.

Over time, the erosive effects of acid can cause teeth to become sensitive and painful, and may lead to a need for dental treatment. A mouthwash with desensitizing ingredients such as potassium nitrate, a compound that blocks the nerve endings and reduces sensitivity, can help.

The best mouthwash for teeth sensitivity is one that contains no alcohol or fluoride, and is recommended by your dentist. You can ask your Loveland dentist for a recommendation instead of purchasing an over-the-counter product that might be unsuitable for your needs.

Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can be an effective teeth sensitivity treatment and should be used daily in conjunction with brushing, flossing, and using a mouthguard while you sleep. Mouthwash removes residual bacteria and helps protect against tooth decay, so if you have sensitive teeth, it is a good idea to add it to your dental care regimen.

4. Change Your Diet

You can help to prevent tooth sensitivity pain by practicing good oral health habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and limiting your consumption of acidic foods and drinks will all go a long way in helping to protect your enamel from wear and tear.

You may also want to consider a mouthwash or toothpaste that has added calcium, or adding more alkaline foods like leafy greens and nuts to your diet. These types of foods can help reduce the amount of acid in your mouth, and the calcium will strengthen your enamel to lessen sensitivity.

If you find that the pain from sensitive teeth persists or becomes more severe, it is important to talk to your dentist about it. It could be an indication of a more serious dental issue that requires a more comprehensive treatment plan.

For example, the pain from sensitive teeth can sometimes be an indication of a jaw injury or a chronic condition such as GERD or bulimia. These issues will need to be addressed before your sensitive teeth can heal.