There are many treatments for tooth sensitivity. These include fluoride treatments, desensitizing treatments, and chemicals that can cause chemical reactions with your teeth to help reduce sensitivity. But you might not need those if you consume a diet rich in certain vegetables and herbs.
The Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Overall, tooth sensitivity has one main cause: heat and cold are circumventing the hard, insulating tooth enamel to penetrate into the nerve in your teeth. They can either penetrate through the dentin or through the cementum. Dentin hypersensitivity is most often the cause if you have experienced significant wear on your teeth. Cementum exposure is more likely if you have receding gums.
Dentin hypersensitivity is caused by tiny tubules in the dentin that are primarily vestiges of when the dentin was made. The tubules also help dentin remain strong but flexible. But these tubules can allow heat and cold to pass more easily into the sensitive nerve of the tooth, especially if the tooth enamel is thin or completely worn away.
How Some Vegetables Can Help Tooth Sensitivity
One common treatment for tooth sensitivity is the use of oxalates to block the tubules. These oxalates, such as potassium oxalate, react with the calcium in the tooth to form calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can then move into the tubules and partially block them, creating a buffer against sensitivity.
Although most tooth sensitivity treatments use artificial oxalates, there are also natural oxalates that have been proven to be effective against tooth sensitivity as well. These are known as oxalate phytocomplexes because they’re found in plants.
Oxalates can actually be bad for you if eaten in too large of quantities, and it’s actually for the same reason as they’re good for your teeth. While oxalates form soluble salts with potassium, sodium, and some other elements, they form insoluble salts with calcium, magnesium, and other common elements. This causes the oxalates to enter your body soluble, and, sometimes turn into insoluble calcium compounds that form many kinds of hazardous stones, like kidney stones.
But when consumed in normal quantities by people who are not otherwise at risk for kidney stones, they may help avoid tooth sensitivity:
- Wheat bran
- Buckwheat flour
- Soy milk
- Tahini and sesame seeds
- Swiss chard
You might try adding these foods to your diet or possibly just chewing them and spitting them out if you don’t want to get too much oxalate in your intestines. Studies haven’t been done on this approach to reducing sensitivity, but studies show that extracts from some of these vegetables can be as effective as other teeth sensitivity treatments.
Treat Receding Gums If Sensitivity Is in the Roots
However, if your tooth sensitivity comes from the roots, the best treatment is to restore your gums to their former position.