Request an Appointment Like Us on Facebook Leave a Google Review

Sensitive Teeth

Oil Pulling for Sensitive Teeth

Does oil pulling help sensitive teeth?

There is some anecdotal evidence that oil pulling does help reduce sensitivity in teeth, but results vary. However, some people have reported that it actually increases sensitivity in teeth. There could be various reasons for this:

  • Not everyone is using the same oil - some people may be using sesame seed oil and some may be using coconut oil, which is less acidic
  • Not all coconut oils are the same - even within coconut oils, there is a wide variance from manufacturers on how coconut oil is produced
  • Dental conditions may vary - depending on the condition of their teeth and gums, oil pulling may not even be recommended - consult your dentist first

While some report that oil pulling helps them with their sensitive teeth, the reasons for this can vary. Some people report a 'tightening' of the gums around tooth and so if the reason for tooth sensitivity is recessed gums, there may be some relief from oil pulling.

If you have sensitive teeth, some people have reported relief from ozone therapy or from a typical 'sensitive toothpaste' used to diminish teeth sensitivity that contains anti-tooth-sensitivity agents as potassium chloride, potassium nitrate and potassium citrate.

How does oil pulling work?

Microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell, which are covered with a lipid (fatty) membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with the fat in oil they naturally adhere to each other. The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. After roughly 20 minutes the person spits out the oil and rinses thoroughly with water to rid the mouth of those microbes.

What is the best oil to use?

People have used different types of oil such as sesame and sunflower oil, but these oils are acidic and pro-inflammatory. Coconut oil is preferred because it's less acidic (some brands are actually alkaline), which won't damage your tooth enamel. Also, coconut oil contains 50% lauric acid, which is known to help fight microbes in the mouth.

Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is inconvenient and a pain. When you know what causes sensitivity, you may be able to prevent it, but in the meantime, here are some home remedies for sensitive teeth you can do right away.

Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

sensitiveteethChoose a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

If you’re not using a soft-bristled toothbrush you’re likely causing more damage to your mouth than you should be. Rough bristles can actually be irritating your gums and/or damaging the surface of your teeth. If you are already using soft bristles, use gentle brush strokes when brushing your teeth.

Avoid Foods that Trigger Sensitivity

There are specific foods that can trigger your sensitive teeth and make it worse. Pay closer attention to your diet. Watch out for foods that increase tooth sensitivity. It is usually certain foods that are extreme in temperature (hot/cold), extremely sweet (sugar-rich), or even acidic.

Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

There are two types of desensitizing toothpaste in the market today: potassium-based and calcium-based. Try one out and then stick with it for at least 2-4 weeks.  Most people use a potassium-based desensitizing toothpaste and they find that it works despite abrasion and erosion, but calcium-based toothpastes are also worth considering and, in some cases, can even offer a more instantaneous relief.

Natural remedies for sensitive teeth

  • Vitamin B1 or thiamine may help reduce tooth sensitivity and pain. Check with your dentist for dosage recommendations.
  • Calcium hydroxyapatite is a form of calcium that helps restore tooth enamel, reducing sensitivity and can be bought over the counter.
  • Clove powder reduces tooth pain. Apply a small amount of the paste on sensitive teeth after every meal as directed by your dentist.

When to See Dr. Reese

Having sensitive teeth is like walking on tiptoes, afraid of triggering a painful episode. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid making it worse. Be careful not to brush teeth too hard, watch acidic foods which strip tooth enamel, don't overuse mouthwash, which may have an acid effect on teeth, watch for decay at gum level and be alert to grinding teeth at night. All of these can lead to sensitive teeth.

If the above options aren’t making a significant difference and you are in the Indianapolis area, contact us and request an appointment. Dr. Reese can determine the most likely cause of your tooth sensitivity and recommend the best solution for your particular situation, call 317-882-0228 for an appointment.