Are you annoyed with that sharp, stinging pain you experience in your tooth, every time you eat something hot or cold? 

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that results in a sharp, intense but temporary pain or discomfort in your teeth when you eat something cold, hot, sweet, or acidic. Tooth sensitivity can affect anyone at any age.

Tooth sensitivity begins to develop when the softer, inner part of your tooth called dentine, is exposed to external factors (stimuli). Dentine lies under and is protected by the enamel (the hard, thin outer covering of your tooth) and the gums. 

When there is wear and tear of the enamel, the dentine becomes exposed and external triggers (such as ice cream, hot foods, sweet desserts or sour foods) can stimulate the nerves inside the roots of the tooth, resulting in short, sharp spikes of tooth sensitivity.

Various things can cause tooth sensitivity. The most common ones being tooth erosion, tooth decay, gum recession, and significant grinding of your teeth. 

The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated, both at your dentist’s clinic and at home. 

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

At The Dentist

Complex dental problems can cause extreme teeth sensitivity. In such cases, it is advisable to meet your dentist and get the underlying problem fixed. 

Depending on the severity of your dental problem, the solutions offered could include: 

  • Dental Crown: A tooth-shaped "cap" placed over your tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. Tooth sensitivity after dental crown placement is usually normal and nothing to worry about.

  • Inlay: A pre-moulded filling fitted into the pit of your tooth, often used to treat dental cavities or dental caries (decayed areas of your teeth that cause openings or holes in your teeth). While your tooth can continue to be sensitive for a few days after getting an inlay, it should subside over a period of time.

  • Dental Bonding: A cosmetic procedure in which a composite resin material (same as the colour of your teeth) is applied to your teeth to improve your smile. Bonding is known to seal your nerve endings, protecting your teeth from too hot or cold temperatures/foods, resulting in reduced sensitivity.

Besides the above procedures, your dentist may recommend a different fluoride toothpaste and a change in your style or method of brushing and flossing. Flossing is a technique in which a cord of thin filaments is used to remove food and dental plaque (a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth).

Some natural home remedies also might help ease your sensitivity and provide relief. Read on!

At Home

1. Honey and warm water. Honey does not find its application only in treating colds and sore throats; its antibacterial properties can reduce inflammation in your gums that can cause sensitivity. 

Inflammation is redness, warmth, swelling, and pain around the tissue, that occurs as your body’s response to an injury/illness.

You can use honey in multiple ways to reduce tooth sensitivity:

  • Stir a spoonful of honey in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth to promote oral healing. 

  • You can choose to simply rub honey on your gums and tooth where you feel sensitivity, to soothe the area. 

  • Rinse your mouth two to three times every day until the pain goes away.

2. Vanilla extract. Vanilla extract has been used as a home remedy to treat tooth pain for a long time. 

It contains alcohol and antioxidant (substances that prevent or slow down cell damage caused by free radicals) properties that are known to numb the nerves and relieve tooth pain. 

  • Dab a small amount of vanilla extract (available in the market) onto a cotton ball or on your finger and massage it on the affected area. 

  • You can try this remedy a few times a day.

3. Turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti inflammatory effects. Turmeric has been used to alleviate pain when it comes to oral diseases. 

  • Massage ground turmeric on your teeth once or twice a day for pain relief and for relief from tooth sensitivity.

4. Ayurvedic oil pulling. Oil pulling, also known as "kavala" or "gundusha"  is a widely practiced ayurvedic dental technique. 

It involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes, before spitting it out.

Oil pulling benefits your dental health by killing bacteria in your mouth and is also known to remove toxins (substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans) from your body, improving your overall health.

Oil pulling reduces plaque formation and helps treat gingivitis, a gum disease. Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gums that can cause tooth sensitivity.

  • You can practice oil pulling every morning on an empty stomach. You can use sunflower, sesame, and coconut oil for oil pulling.

5. Garlic. Garlic releases an antibacterial and antimicrobial (an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth) compound called allicin when chewed. 

It can temporarily reduce toothache pain and kill bacteria in your mouth that can worsen tooth sensitivity. 

  • Crush about two-three garlics and make a paste by adding a few drops of water. Apply this paste on the affected teeth or tooth and let it stay for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm saltwater. 

6. Green tea. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects of green tea can also help in oral health. Green tea can shield your teeth from consequent wear and tear and prevent the formation of cavities, both of which result in tooth sensitivity.  

  • Rinse your mouth with unsweetened green tea, twice a day to strengthen teeth and reduce inflammation.

7. Guava leaves. Guava leaves have antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties that reduce tooth sensitivity and toothache. 

  • Chew on 2-3 tender guava leaves when you have toothache for immediate relief.

  • You can also boil 4-5 guava leaves in a cup of water, add salt and use it as a mouthwash or mouth rinse.

While home remedies can provide temporary relief from tooth sensitivity, it is important for you to maintain good oral hygiene, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a desensitizing toothpaste. 

Schedule regular visits with your dentist to identify tooth decay or damage in the early stages and to prevent tooth sensitivity.


1. 2021. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 March 2021].

Disclaimer: This article is written by Practo for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.