Wisdom teeth also called the third molars, often begin to develop when a person is between the ages of 17 and 25. There have been instances where teens as young as 14 or 15 years old begin to develop wisdom teeth, however, wisdom teeth get their name for a reason: they develop when a child reaches adulthood. Wisdom teeth pain is common because the molars often stay impacted until removed. Most often, the wisdom teeth are first spotted during a routine x-ray done at your local dental office. Most dentists will recommend to teens and young adults that they should get their wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible to prevent future problems from developing.
Home Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief
Because impacted wisdom teeth can be painful for a myriad of reasons, dealing with it can be a real issue. Oftentimes, the pain will come and go as the impacted molars move and try to straighten enough to erupt through the gums. The pain you feel with your wisdom teeth is associated not only with the fact that they're pressing against your other teeth, but that they are slowly but surely ripping through the gums.
Here is a list of home remedies to try if you're experiencing pain associated with your wisdom teeth. Some of them are also very helpful if you have sensitive teeth.
- Onions: Sounds strange, but it works. Don't panic, you don't have to bite the whole onion like a juicy apple. Cut off a small piece and chew it with the side of your teeth that is causing you problems. The onion juice can thus penetrate directly to the area. If you experience pain while chewing, you can also hold the piece of onion against the aching tooth with your finger. The more pungent the onion (take yellow onions if possible!), the better. And why onions? Because they contain phytochemicals that target the germs responsible for the infection.
- Ice Packs - Applying ice to either the area inside of the mouth or on the outside on your cheek will help to bring down any swelling and inflammation that you're experiencing. Oftentimes, it's the inflammation of the gums and wisdom teeth that causes the pain, so bringing down the swelling is key to reducing the pain.
- Salt Water Rinses - If the impacted wisdom tooth isn't impacted anymore and is slowly making its way through the gums, a saltwater rinse is crucial for keeping pain at bay and preventing infection. Mix roughly a half tablespoon of sea salt with a cup of warm water and rinse with this for about a minute. Spit out the mixture and repeat with fresh salt water every few hours.
- Clove Oil - Believe it or not, many dental offices use clove oil as a way to relieve tooth pain. This amazing oil can also be used as a topical anesthetic for gum pain and wisdom tooth issues as well. Apply a small amount of the oil using a cotton swab onto the affected area and repeat every few hours.
- Peppermint not only smells more pleasant than many other remedies, it also clearly tastes better and even provides a fresh breath. Peppermint has anesthetic properties that reduce pain and remove bacteria in the mouth that caused the infection. Take fresh leaves and leave them for about 20 minutes on the teeth that hurt. However, you can take peppermint extract and apply it to the tooth with a cotton swab.
Is It My Wisdom Teeth or Something Else?
The best way for you to tell if it's wisdom teeth pain or something else is to determine where the pain is coming from. Wisdom tooth pain feels more like a dull and annoying ache and pressure rather than a sharp pain. It also can make your gums in the back of your mouth look red and swollen. If you're feeling a sharp pain or shocking sensation specific to one tooth, it's more than likely something with that tooth rather than your wisdom teeth.
Facts About Wisdom Tooth Eruption
Wisdom teeth start out impacted, which means that they are underneath the gum line. Like all other teeth, the wisdom teeth will eventually try to make their way up and through the gums. This process is not only painful but for people with smaller mouths or who have gone through extensive orthodontic work, it can be downright impossible.
If your mouth does not have enough room for the wisdom teeth to come in, this will cause pain and problems with the surrounding teeth. Some patients have had their first and second molars crack and fracture because of their wisdom teeth trying to come up through the gums. This is also not to mention the increasing amount of pain and pressure the patient feels as the teeth have nowhere to go.
Symptoms of wisdom teeth pain
The pain associated with wisdom teeth is often dull, aching and more a pressure than a shooting pain. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth pain also affects more than the mouth and jaw. If you are having issues with your wisdom teeth, it can make your life miserable. There have been many instances where people begin to experience weird and random health issues that are all related to their wisdom teeth being impacted and unable to erupt through the gums. Some of these symptoms can include:
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Recurring headaches and migraines
- Wisdom teeth pain in jaw
- TMJ problems
- Trouble breathing
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Bad breath
- Swollen face and jaw area
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck area
- Mouth infections and abscesses
Obviously, if you have any of these symptoms, you'll want to talk to a doctor first to rule out any other health-related problem. As a general rule, if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms along with constant or recurring mouth pain and pressure in the molar area, there's a good chance that your problems are wisdom tooth-related.
Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief after Removal
If you've decided that enough is enough and you're done dealing with the constant wisdom teeth pain, you need to schedule an appointment with a local oral surgeon. You will go in for a consultation and have x-rays done so that the surgeon can determine the best way to remove the impacted molars. From there, you'll schedule a day to have the wisdom teeth removed. You will need someone to drive you to and from the appointment since you will undergo general anesthesia while the teeth are removed.
For the first few hours, you'll feel very woozy while the anesthesia wears off from the procedure. Your face will more than likely be very swollen and you'll be instructed to use ice packs on your cheeks to bring down the swelling. Do not smoke or drink anything through a straw while your gums are healing, as this can lead to a problem known as dry socket, where you have sucked the naturally occurring blood clot from the area which would be needed to heal the wound. It can take anywhere from three to seven days for you to heal fully from wisdom tooth removal surgery.
Wisdom teeth removal - Important?
It's understandable that you may not want to go for surgery to remove your impacted wisdom teeth. However, leaving the teeth in, especially if they do not have room to break through the gums, can lead to severe wisdom teeth pain and other symptoms like constant headaches, dizziness and face and jaw swelling. Most dentists will recommend the removal of the wisdom teeth as soon as they are detected on an x-ray and especially if they are coming in horizontally and won't have enough room in the mouth to fully erupt.
Conclusion: Wisdom teeth are pretty much an unnecessary evil that the majority of us have to deal with. While the idea of going through surgery to remove the third molars isn't the most pleasant of things, it's far better to go through a quick procedure and fast recovery than to live years or even decades with the myriad of symptoms that come with wisdom teeth pain. If you think you're having problems with your wisdom teeth, talk to a dentist about your options or schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon who can let you know if the procedure will benefit you.