growing wisdom tooth pain xray image

A Guide to Dealing With Wisdom Tooth Pain

  • Wisdom tooth pain can often be uncomfortable and distracting.
  • Over-the-counter medications, ice or heat packs, home remedies, oral surgery, and professional cleaning can help to manage wisdom tooth discomfort.
  • After wisdom tooth extraction, proper self-care is vital to ensure a successful recovery and reduce complications such as infection.
  • Contact the dentist immediately if experiencing persistent pain, excessive bleeding, fever, or signs of infection.

When dealing with wisdom tooth pain, you must seek the proper treatment. Wisdom teeth are a normal part of life for most people, and they often become painful when they start to erupt. This can be a very uncomfortable experience. If left untreated, it can cause further complications. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help alleviate wisdom tooth pain and prevent more severe issues down the road. This article will discuss what to do if you’re experiencing wisdom tooth discomfort.

What is a Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last set of adult teeth to develop in humans. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21 and can cause pain when they start appearing in the mouth. The pain associated with wisdom teeth is because they often lack enough space to grow properly and become impacted, meaning stuck within the jawbone or soft tissue. In other cases, wisdom teeth may be partially erupted, leading to inflammation of surrounding gums and tooth decay. Regardless of your situation, it’s important to seek treatment for wisdom tooth discomfort as soon as possible.

Warning Signs of Wisdom Teeth Pain

girl getting toothache concept of wisdom tooth

Pain from wisdom teeth typically presents itself gradually over time with varying intensity levels. It can start as a dull ache but eventually become more severe and sharp. Other warning signs include jaw stiffness, difficulty opening the mouth, headaches, and earaches on the affected side of your face. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must seek your dentist’s help immediately to prevent further complications.

5 Treatment Options for Wisdom Tooth Pain

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, typically come in during the late teens or early twenties. Wisdom tooth pain is a common issue, but luckily, various treatment options are available.

1. Over-the-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain and swelling associated with wisdom tooth pain. However, it is important to take these medications only as directed and not exceed the recommended dosage. If the pain persists, you should consult a dentist as soon as possible.

2. Ice or Heat Packs

Applying ice or heat packs to the area around a sore wisdom tooth can help reduce wisdom teeth pain and discomfort. You can use ice packs to reduce inflammation and swelling, while heat packs can help to relax the muscles and increase circulation. To use an ice or heat pack, wrap it in a thin cloth before applying it directly to the cheek area. Do not leave either type of pack on for longer than 15 minutes at a time. Taking breaks between applications is vital to prevent tissue damage from freezing or burning.

3. Home Remedies

Many home remedies, such as salt water rinses, herbal teas, and essential oils, may help relieve symptoms associated with wisdom tooth pain. Saltwater rinses can help soothe the area around your wisdom teeth and reduce inflammation. Herbal teas, such as chamomile, may have anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve pain. Essential oils can also be used as a home remedy for wisdom tooth pain.

4. Oral Surgery

Depending on the severity of the case, oral surgery may be necessary to remove problematic wisdom teeth or address underlying dental issues. During the procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon may use a local anesthetic to numb the area and minimize discomfort. Oral surgeries such as wisdom tooth extractions can often be completed in one visit with minimal recovery time.

5. Professional Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings can help to prevent and treat the build-up of plaque or tartar around problem wisdom teeth, which may be causing discomfort. An additional benefit is that professional cleaning helps protect against potential infections that could worsen the pain from a wisdom tooth. It’s essential to seek advice from a dentist if any signs of infection are present. They will ensure that the affected area is properly treated and provide the best care for a successful recovery.

Self-Care Tips After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

tooth extraction by dentist with tool

After wisdom tooth extraction, proper care is essential to help ensure a successful recovery and reduce the risk of complications. Proper self-care can speed up your healing process and keep you comfortable and healthy. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself after wisdom tooth removal:

  • Keep your head elevated on pillows while resting or sleeping for the first few days following surgery. This can help with swelling and discomfort in the area.
  • Avoid activities that strain the mouth, such as talking, yawning, laughing, or drinking through a straw. Allowing yourself some rest time will help with healing.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water every two hours during waking hours to prevent infection and reduce swelling.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking for at least three days after extraction to prevent infection and support healing.
  • Eat soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, or pudding for the first few days following surgery. As your mouth begins to heal, you can introduce other softer foods that are easier to chew.
  • Take any medications your dentist prescribed to help control pain and reduce inflammation in the area.
  • Gently brush your teeth but avoid brushing near the extraction sites until they are fully healed. Doing so prematurely may cause bleeding or infection.
  • Contact your dentist if you experience persistent pain, excessive bleeding, fever, or signs of infection like redness or swelling in the area.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with wisdom tooth pain can be a terrible experience, but it’s essential to seek the proper treatment to reduce your symptoms and prevent further complications. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs discussed above, make sure to contact your dentist immediately for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Additionally, by following the self-care tips mentioned here, you can help minimize any potential discomfort while waiting for professional help.


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