If your wisdom teeth are causing you any discomfort, it’s probably time to have them looked at by your dentist. Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the last teeth to emerge in your late teens or early adulthood.
Some people’s wisdom teeth may never emerge, others may only get one or two, while all four teeth erupt with no issues for many people.
Once your other teeth have already developed, there may not be enough room for wisdom teeth to grow correctly, causing wisdom teeth pain because they are impacted or shifting other teeth.
Wisdom Teeth and Your Oral Health
Your wisdom teeth could be growing in and breaking through the gums, but wisdom teeth rarely cause discomfort unless something is wrong. There are several reasons why your wisdom teeth may be hurting you, and most indicate that a wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary.
If wisdom teeth grow through the gum at an angle or don’t fully erupt, they are called impacted wisdom teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause serious oral health issues, and it is essential to contact your dentist if you have swollen gums, bad breath toward the back of your mouth, trouble opening and closing your mouth, or bleeding in the wisdom tooth area.
If left untreated, an impacted wisdom tooth can cause oral health problems, such as:
- Tooth Decay
Wisdom teeth are challenging to clean because they are so far back in the mouth, and they grow very close to adjacent teeth. Plaque can build up, causing your enamel to weaken, leading to cavities.
- Gum Disease
Food and other debris can lodge in the gap between an impacted wisdom tooth and the gum tissue or another tooth, providing a breeding ground for infection. These infections can be painful and spread to other areas in your mouth.
- Tooth Abscess
If your wisdom tooth becomes infected, a pus-filled sac known as an abscess can form. Abscesses can lead to sepsis and jawbone deterioration.
- Incorrect Tooth Alignment
If there is insufficient space for a wisdom tooth to erupt fully, it could grow at an angle, pushing against adjacent teeth and causing misalignment. Not only is this a cosmetic issue, but it can affect how you chew and grind down tooth enamel.
- Wisdom Teeth Pain
The pressure on surrounding teeth and infections can cause significant discomfort, often requiring prescription pain-relieving medication and antibiotics.
Alleviating Wisdom Teeth Pain
Wisdom teeth pain can make it difficult to concentrate and perform everyday tasks and impact your ability to speak and chew properly. While wisdom teeth extraction is the most effective method for eliminating discomfort, there are numerous simple, natural remedies you can use at home to alleviate wisdom teeth pain until you can schedule surgery, including:
- Numbing Gels
A numbing gel reduces tenderness in the gums around the impacted wisdom tooth area using cooling ingredients such as menthol and analgesic agents.
- Over-the-Counter Medications
An infected or impacted wisdom tooth often becomes inflamed, causing discomfort and throbbing. OTC medications reduce inflammation and swelling and alleviate discomfort.
- Ice Packs
Gently pressing an ice pack to the side of your jaw for 10 minutes at a time can help to reduce blood flow and swelling. By lowering inflammation in the gum, you can lessen the discomfort around your wisdom tooth area.
- Warm Saltwater Rinses
Salt water is antibacterial, helping to reduce infection. The warm rinse can also remove lodged food particles, which contribute to discomfort. Combine 1 teaspoon of table salt in 1 cup of warm water and stir to dissolve. Rinse for 30 seconds with salt water after eating and anytime you feel wisdom teeth pain.
- Avoid Hot Food and Drinks
Impacted wisdom teeth are often sensitive to heat, cold and sugary substances. Avoid extremely hot or cold food and drinks, and chew on the opposite side of your mouth to the impacted tooth to minimise pain.
Eliminate Wisdom Teeth Pain with an Extraction at Toothsome
These simple at-home remedies can reduce your discomfort until you can have your affected tooth extracted. If you think you are experiencing wisdom teeth pain, schedule an appointment with Toothsome for an evaluation.
Wisdom tooth removal is the best way to prevent any tooth-related oral health problems. You can call our practice at the following locations to book your consultation: