Wisdom tooth pain can be an unbearable experience. Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth. If yours have already come in, you shouldn’t be a stranger to the excruciating pain that sometimes comes with it.
At the time it happened, you probably considered going to a dentist immediately to have them taken out. You may actually have done so. That’s what many people do.
It’s a good idea, but it’s not always a possible option. This is because your wisdom tooth pain might have started on a weekend like mine always did. Most dentist offices are usually closed on weekends.
Your wisdom teeth would usually erupt and grow out through your gum when you’re in your late teens to early twenties (ages 17-25 years). Some people’s wisdom teeth don’t grow until much later in life.
Mine didn’t come in until I was in my late thirties. I also remember my dad’s wisdom teeth growing out when he was in his early fifties.
Most people expect their wisdom teeth to emerge at some point during their late teens and early adult years. Many people have between one to four wisdom teeth come in. Some others don’t have any at all.
Your four wisdom teeth can take up to three months to fully emerge from your gum line. All four of them may also not come in at the same time.
It is therefore possible that you may experience wisdom tooth pain at different times for each of the four sides. Most often, wisdom tooth pain is best permanently resolved by having the tooth removed.
What causes wisdom tooth pain?
- If your wisdom teeth are hurting, it could mean they’re simply growing in. When they break through the gums it can cause pain, soreness, and swelling.
- Sometimes because your other 28 teeth are usually already in place, your wisdom teeth may not have enough room to properly fit in your gum when they grow in. Due to this lack of space, your wisdom teeth may grow very close to neighboring teeth. This tight space is hard to clean making it a prime spot for cavities to form and resulting in wisdom tooth pain.
- If a wisdom tooth becomes impacted it can cause pain and swelling when you’re biting or chewing. You may also experience pain in your jaw and difficulty opening your mouth.
- When your wisdom tooth is impacted, a cyst can form at the root of your impacted tooth’s follicle. This will cause wisdom tooth pain and damage in your tooth and possibly your jawbone also.
- Because of your wisdom teeth’s location and lack of space, it may be harder to clean them. This will result in gum disease forming on your wisdom teeth
- Most often, your wisdom teeth may break out of your gum at an angle. When this happens, they often come in too close to another tooth. Sometimes, the wisdom tooth even only comes out partially. Occasionally, the tooth may not even emerge from your gums at all, causing pain in the affected gum.
- Partially exposed wisdom teeth make it possible for food and bacteria to get trapped and grow, causing infection and tooth pain.
- As your wisdom tooth moves up through your jawbone towards your gum, your gums may become inflamed. The affected area may bleed and you may have terrible headaches or tooth pain.
When wisdom tooth pain starts but you can’t immediately go to a dentist
What do you do if your wisdom tooth pain started on a weekend?
Also, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, going to see a dentist may not be immediately possible. If you’re at home and going to a dentist is not immediately possible, there are several home remedies that can effectively help alleviate your wisdom tooth pain.
These remedies should temporarily keep you comfortable until you can see your dentist for a more permanent solution.
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26 Home remedies for wisdom tooth pain
Warm salt-water swish and rinse
This is one of the most popular and easiest remedies and is often recommended by dentists themselves. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of salt into a glass of warm water and mix until the salt is completely dissolved.
Swish the mixture in your mouth, especially around the painful area. Do this for about twelve seconds to a minute, and spit it out. Do not swallow the solution.
Repeat the process every few hours as needed, throughout the day. The saltwater will help promote wound healing and clean out stuck debris.
It will also reduce dental bacteria because it temporarily increases the pH balance of your mouth. When the pH balance in your mouth increases, an alkaline environment is created in which bacteria struggle to survive. You should experience relief from the wisdom tooth pain after a few rinses.
Hydrogen peroxide rinse
Hydrogen peroxide is a good antiseptic. It is very effective in reducing toothaches and inflammation. Hydrogen peroxide rinse kills bacteria, reduces plaque, and heals bleeding gums. It’s important that you dilute the hydrogen peroxide properly before swishing it around your mouth.
For your mouth rinse, use a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide, and 97% of water. Swish the solution around in your mouth and spit out.
Do not swallow the hydrogen peroxide rinse, and wash your mouth thoroughly with plain water afterward.
Cold and heat therapy
If your wisdom tooth pain causes swelling, applying an ice pack may be able to help to ease your pain. You may use a store-bought commercial ice pack or put some ice in a small plastic bag, wrap it in a towel and apply it to the swollen area.
You may even use a bag of frozen vegetables and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minute intervals, every few hours. Applying the ice will help reduce swelling and inflammation around your wisdom tooth.
The ice creates a numbing effect, thereby helping to reduce your pain and tenderness. To avoid cold-related injuries, you should not apply ice therapy directly on your skin. Also, you shouldn’t leave the ice on for too long.
For the warm compress, you should apply a heating pad to the affected area of your cheek for about 15 minutes at a time. Wait for 15 minutes, and reapply the heating pad.
Applying heat will help promote healing by relieving tension and increasing blood flow. You should alternate the heat and cold treatments throughout the day, always finishing with a cold treatment.
Onions for wisdom tooth pain
As strange as it may sound, treating your wisdom tooth pain with onions is one of the most reliable home remedies for it. Onions contain phytochemicals that target the germs responsible for wisdom tooth infection. This treatment works best if you use red or yellow onions.
At the first sign of your tooth pain, cut off a piece of onion and chew it on the side of your mouth that’s in pain. When you do this, the juice from the onion will penetrate the affected tooth.
If your pain is too intense and you cannot chew on that side, crush the fresh onion and use your finger to hold the piece of the crushed onion directly against the problematic tooth and gums.
Crushed garlic and ginger
Crushed garlic is one of the most effective killers of bacteria that infect the gum line. When garlic is crushed together with ginger into a paste, the combination makes garlic even more effective and potent.
To use this method, crush raw garlic into a paste-like consistency, then add fresh, chopped ginger. Mix together, and apply the paste to your gums.
Wheatgrass has numerous healing properties. It contains a high level of chlorophyll which helps to reduce inflammation and prevent bacteria that cause infections. The chlorophyll helps fight the bacteria formed by the incoming wisdom tooth.
To use wheatgrass to relieve wisdom tooth pain, make wheatgrass juice, and use it as a mouthwash. It helps prevent tooth decay and heal wounds. It is a powerful healer to treat your pain.
Teabags for wisdom tooth pain?
If your wisdom tooth pain also causes swollen gums around the infected area, apply a cold teabag. To do this, brew a cup of tea and put the cup in the refrigerator.
Leave the teabag inside the cup and let it stand. When the tea bag becomes cold, remove it and place it inside your mouth, directly over where the gum hurts.
The anti-inflammatory properties found in tannic acid contained in the tea bag will help reduce your swelling and bring pain relief almost instantly.
Baking soda paste
Baking soda helps reduce swelling and reduce pain. Put some toothpaste in a small container and add any amount of baking soda to form a paste.
Apply the paste to the affected tooth. Your pain should go down within a few minutes. Rinse out.
You may also combine turmeric, toothpaste and baking soda and rub the paste around the wisdom tooth. Let the paste sit for several minutes before rinsing it out.
Menthol is a natural analgesic that you can use to bring relief for your wisdom tooth pain. It brings a cooling sensation when it touches your skin.
To use menthol as a home remedy for your tooth pain, dilute mouthwash that contains menthol, alcohol, and peppermint flavor and apply this directly to the affected area.
Peppermint is an excellent pain reliever with rich anesthetic properties that will help reduce your wisdom tooth pain. It will also help to remove bacteria in your mouth that caused your infection.
There are two methods for applying peppermint to your tooth and gum:
- Take fresh peppermint leaves and pack them into the affected area for at least 20 minutes. This should help reduce your wisdom tooth pain.
- If you don’t have peppermint leaves, you may use peppermint extract. Apply a few drops of the extract on a cotton swab and apply it to the affected wisdom tooth. Leave the swab on your tooth for a few minutes. You’ll gradually be relieved of the tooth pain.
Guava leaves are great for pain relief. They have anti-spasm, disinfecting, and antibacterial properties. To use guava leaves for wisdom tooth pain, chew slowly on some leaves.
Chewing the guava leaves releases juice from the leaves and the potency of the juice brings you relief within minutes.
Another option is to boil about 5-7 guava leaves in a pot for about 5 minutes. After the water has cooled down, use it as a mouthwash.
You can use aloe vera to soothe and reduce inflammation around the area your wisdom tooth that is trying to grow in. It also helps to heal your gum if it was cut while your tooth was growing in.
To use this option, apply pure aloe vera gel to the back of your mouth, to the affected area. The gel will give you temporary relief from your wisdom tooth pain.
To use this method of pain relief, cut a cucumber into thin slices, and place them in a refrigerator. When your wisdom tooth begins to hurt, take one cucumber slice, and place it in your mouth directly on the infected tooth. The coolness of the cucumber slices will help soothe your pain.
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in cayenne pepper and is said to relieve pain and inflammation. It has been reported that capsaicin can help in treating various types of pain. It sometimes has a desensitizing effect on nerve fibers, resulting in pain relief.
Because capsaicin has the potential to irritate, you should always start with a small amount to see how your body reacts to it.
To use this, dilute a few drops of pure capsaicin extract or the oil in a cup of water. Apply the solution to the affected area with a cotton ball.
You may also use the solution as a mouthwash. Repeat the process regularly throughout the day.
Thyme essential oil
Use a cotton ball or your fingers to apply the mixture to your tooth and gums. Do this a few times a day. You can also add one drop of thyme essential oil to a glass of warm water and use the solution as a mouthwash.
Lavender essential oil
Dilute a drop of lavender oil with a carrier oil using a teaspoon. Using your fingers or a cotton ball, apply the mixture to the affected area several times throughout the day.
You may add two drops of lavender oil to a cup of warm water and use the solution as a mouthwash. Use the solution three times a day. You can also use cooled lavender tea to make a mouthwash.
Cloves / Clove oil
To use clove oil, apply some of the oil onto a cotton ball and wipe directly on the gums surrounding the affected wisdom tooth. Repeat this process several times each day.
If the flavor of clove oil is too strong for you, consider adding a little bit of olive oil to the clove oil before applying it.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an antibacterial agent that has been proven to be powerful in killing bacteria in your mouth. You should never apply tea tree oil directly to your teeth because it is a very potent agent. Also, it shouldn’t be swallowed.
Dilute a drop of tea tree oil with coconut oil. Coconut oil is another antibacterial agent.
After combining them, apply the mixture to your inflamed gums. This should help to kill the bacteria on your gum line. When you feel your pain is relieved, you should spit it out and rinse out any residue immediately from your mouth.
Oregano oil is another powerful agent that can kill bacteria and prevent infection. It also helps reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
It is believed that carvacrol is the active pain-relieving ingredient in oregano oil. Because oregano oil is extremely potent, you should properly dilute it before use.
To use, dilute a drop of oregano oil, and a carrier oil in a teaspoon. Using a cotton ball or your finger, apply the mixture to your affected tooth or gums. You should do this twice a day.
Vanilla extract contains eugenol as well and it has antiseptic and analgesic properties. That’s why it is very helpful in relieving wisdom tooth pain.
Put some vanilla extract on your fingertip or a cotton ball and apply it to the affected tooth and the surrounding gums. Your pain will be relieved in no time.
Essential oils and vanilla extract soak
Instead of using just vanilla extract on its own, you can create a soothing mouth rinse for your wisdom tooth pain by mixing one cup of warm water and a few drops of vanilla extract. To this solution, you should add the following essential oils:
- Coconut oil
- Tea tree
- Roman chamomile.
Combine the solution and oils, and swish some of the mixtures around in your mouth. Spit it out, do not swallow.
Will liquor help ease wisdom tooth pain?
It might interest you to know that whiskey, brandy, and bourbon all act as pain relievers. This is because of the numbing properties of the distilled liquor in them.
To use this option, rub some whiskey or any other liquor onto the affected tooth as they erupt to the surface of your gum. This will help dull your pain receptors, thereby reducing your discomfort and pain.
There are some over-the-counter numbing gels that you can apply to your affected tooth and gum. These gels contain the active ingredient benzocaine, which is a numbing agent.
This will help numb your gums and ease your pain. Some of the numbing gels also frequently contain menthol to soothe your gums. They may also contain an astringent. This astringent helps to reduce gum irritation.
Aspirin is an effective pain-dulling agent and can be used if you’re experiencing discomfort in your mouth. You should follow the directions on the bottle and take only the recommended dose.
Always consult your doctor before taking aspirin for wisdom tooth pain. There are medical conditions that may prevent you from taking aspirin at the dosage needed for your tooth pain relief.
Your healthcare provider should tell you if you may safely do so or not.
You may take over-the-counter Ibuprofen for wisdom tooth pain. Ibuprofen is a pain-relieving medication that will help to temporarily reduce your pain.
It will help reduce inflammation and swelling, reducing the throbbing sensation usually associated with tooth pain. The use of Ibuprofen should be for temporary relief of your pain, and not for long-term use.
There are some health conditions you have that may make it unsafe for you to take Ibuprofen. You should, therefore, consult your doctor before taking Ibuprofen for wisdom tooth pain.
More tips to relieve wisdom tooth pain
- Drink lots of water so that your gums stay flushed.
- Brush your teeth after each meal and gently floss the area of your infected tooth.
- Avoid foods that are loaded with sugar. The sugar in sweet foods can get inside your gums and make your tooth infection worse.
- You should avoid eating hard foods. As you would expect, chewing hard foods will make your pain worse.
Remember that the remedies listed above should be for temporary relief. They may not completely and permanently cure your wisdom tooth pain.
You should consult a dentist as soon as you can, to have a permanent solution to your tooth problem.