Written by Lisa Allen, MD
It is quite common for people to experience pain when a wisdom tooth emerges, and look for solutions on how to relieve wisdom tooth pain via friends or Internet. A tooth cutting out from the gum is not only uncomfortable, but for some it can be a start of a nightmare.
Wisdom teeth usually comes in when you reach late teens until early twenties, and they are the third and final molars for each side of both upper and lower jaws to come up.
There are those who will have no issues with having wisdom tooth growing out, but statistics show that around 85% of the people with wisdom teeth eventually need to have them removed for various reasons.
Pain is one of the biggest factors of teeth extraction, closely followed by aesthetic purposes. How long does wisdom tooth pain last will depend on how quickly you seek help for the problem it can be as quick as two weeks, or years until you get the tooth out.
Why Does It Hurt?
The most common reason for wisdom tooth pain is because it is pushing out from the gum. As the molar is one of the biggest tooth, it can and will cause a lot of discomfort. You may be able to tolerate the discomfort of one tooth coming, but sometimes all four may turn up at the same time. The pain associated with this can be easily remedied with an ice pack, as well as painkiller like acetaminophen or paracetamol.
But unfortunately, having wisdom teeth can be more than a nuisance for some. The flap of gum that is being pushed aside can become inflamed, causing more pain than usual. Worse, when there is not enough room in your jaw for the third teeth, causing a condition known as impaction. Impaction can be more painful as your jaw gets overcrowded.
Wisdom teeth swelling
There are a few reasons why wisdom teeth swelling occurs when you have your wisdom tooth:
- Just plain symptom of teething. Most people do not remember days when they cut their first tooth, but parents can see them on their babies. Swelling and pain is closely associated with teething, as the gum bed is being cut to let a tooth come through.
- Infection of the gum or pericoronitis can happen when you do not practice good dental hygiene. With poor habits, food can become lodged in the flaps, and bacteria can spread to the gum flap, causing an infection. The pain associated with pericoronitis may be sharper, and you will have other symptoms such as swelling on the gum and lymph nodes. Other signs to lookout for are bleeding, foul taste in the mouth and fever.
- As wisdom teeth erupt after the jaw bone has set, sometimes the new teeth are unable to fit. When a wisdom tooth partially erupts, becoming stuck in the jaw, it becomes impacted. Impacted tooth can lead to crowding, when the front teeth shifts to make way for the newcomer. Some people may experience pain and swelling, but generally a tenderness as the gums are being shifted around. In this case, some people may decide to remove the wisdom teeth to prevent teeth from shifting outwards.
- Final and common reason for wisdom teeth swelling is the removal of the teeth. As the removal of wisdom tooth is a major surgery, pain and swelling is common aftermath. You will expect to experience swelling around the mouth, cheeks, face all the way to the eyes. It may not be obvious until twenty- four hours post- surgery, and it only start to subside around three days after.
Top 7 Wisdom Tooth Home Pain Remedy
There is no remedy to stop wisdom teeth from erupting, but you can minimize the pain and swelling by practicing good dental hygiene. When you have a wisdom tooth erupting and you are in pain, here are some remedies that you can try before your dentist’s appointment.
- Warm salty water is a well used remedy for wisdom tooth pain. Use warm water as cold water can trigger sharp pain, as the teeth and gums are more sensitive when a tooth erupts. Salt is an effective antibacterial, mix salt into warm water until it resembles sea water. Gargle for thirty seconds and spit out the solution, repeat the remedy as often to prevent infection.
- Clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum) contains anti- inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The ancient remedy is to stick a dried clove bud onto the sore gum, and allow it to relieve the pain before spitting it out. Nowadays, you can buy a bottle of clove oil, using a few drops to massage the sore spot every few hours. Large doses of the oil can cause seizures, difficulty breathing and kidney failure, so limit the clove oil to tiny amounts.
- Alcohol is a well known antiseptic, as it can effectively kill bacteria. If you can hold your liquor, opt for drinks that have higher alcohol content such as whiskey or vodka. Swish the liquid around the mouth for up to one minute, whether you chose to spit or drink is entirely up to you. Best repeat after each meal, to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
- Sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline powder that helps kill bacteria. This remedy replaces ash, as it is more hygiene and less likely to contain heavy metals. Form a paste of sodium bicarbonate and water, and use it to brush your teeth. The paste can clean your teeth, to lessen the swelling, and reduce the pain.
- Some common ways for wisom teeth pan relief are traditional home remedies. Ice pack is one of them. People used to use ice chips to alleviate the pain and swelling associated with wisdom teeth pain. You can use ice packs on the outside if the gums are too sensitive towards the cold. Most dentist recommend applying ice packs post- surgery to reduce the swelling, but it does not always help with the pain.
- Acetaminophen/ paracetamol is normally given to those who are suffering from minor pains. For stronger pains relating to infection and operation, this humble painkiller might no longer be enough.
- Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory painkiller that works better when a person is having pain and swelling. It is not recommended post- surgery when you are still bleeding from the operation. Ibuprofen can stop blood from clotting, so avoid using it until the surgery cut has healed or stopped bleeding.