Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night by an intense toothache? If so, you might have experienced the dreaded wisdom tooth pain. This common dental issue can be a source of immense discomfort, but don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll explore different solutions for wisdom tooth pain, including relief measures, treatment options, and preventive strategies.
Let’s get started by first understanding the reasons that may cause pain in your wisdom tooth.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last adult teeth to erupt in the mouth, usually during the late teens or early twenties.
Wisdom tooth pain can be a common issue for many individuals. The pain is often caused by various factors related to the eruption and positioning of the wisdom teeth. As these four wisdom teeth break through the gums, they can cause pain in the jaw and gums, especially if they are impacted.
In some cases, wisdom teeth can grow too close to other teeth, particularly their neighbouring teeth, due to the lack of space in the gums. This may lead to swollen gums, crowding and misalignment, which makes it difficult to clean the area properly. This increases the risk of cavities and potentially results in gum disease.
When the pain is intense or if the wisdom teeth cause complications such as infection, cysts, tooth decay, or harm to adjacent teeth, it is typically suggested to extract the impacted wisdom tooth.
To address these complications, it is essential to seek professional dental care. A dentist will assess the condition of your wisdom teeth and recommend appropriate treatment options.
In some cases, wisdom tooth pain may require professional intervention. The following treatment options may include:
Let’s delve deeper into these wisdom teeth removal procedures — how are wisdom teeth removed?
Non-surgery wisdom tooth extraction refers to the removal of wisdom teeth without the need for a surgical procedure such as an incision or bone removal.
In a non-surgical extraction, the dentist typically uses local anaesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. They then use specialised dental tools to carefully loosen the tooth from the surrounding tissues and gently extract it from the socket. This method is suitable for cases where the wisdom tooth has fully erupted and is in a relatively favourable position. It may be an option if the tooth is not impacted or causes severe complications.
Non-surgery extraction is generally a less invasive procedure. It involves a shorter recovery time than a surgical extraction.
Surgical wisdom tooth extraction is necessary for impacted wisdom teeth, partially erupted or embedded in the jawbone.
This dental surgery procedure requires the dentist to incision the gum tissue to access the tooth. In some cases, a small portion of the bone may need to be removed to fully extract the tooth. After the tooth is extracted, the dentist will use stitches to close the incision.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia to numb the area. In some cases, nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is typically used to ensure the patient’s comfort during the procedure. Recovery from surgical removal may take a few days to a week, and the dentist will provide post-operative care instructions.
In addition to these specific treatment options, there are also some general measures that can help relieve wisdom teeth pain. Let’s explore them!
When dealing with wisdom tooth pain, you may first want to try some natural home remedies and medical remedies that could provide temporary dental pain relief. These solutions include saltwater rinses, cold/heat therapy, and prescription medications.
A salt water rinse is a simple yet effective remedy for wisdom tooth pain relief. You can make this by dissolving one to two teaspoons of salt into a glass of freshly boiled water and letting it cool slightly. Gargle the salt water for a few minutes before spitting it out. You can do this two to three times a day to reduce the pain.
The benefits of salt water rinses for wisdom tooth pain are numerous. This can help reduce bacteria, support gum health, and relieve pain from the discomfort associated with wisdom tooth pain. By reducing bacteria and treating infection, salt water rinses offer a convenient and natural way to manage dental pain caused by wisdom teeth.
Cold and heat therapy is another effective remedy for wisdom tooth pain relief. Applying an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area can help numb the region surrounding the cheek and reduce inflammation. On the other hand, heat therapy can help increase blood flow, relax tense muscles, and promote healing.
Alternating between hot and cold treatments can be an option. It is crucial to find a balance between cold and heat therapy that works for you, as each person’s pain threshold and response to treatment may vary. Follow safety precautions, such as using a cloth or towel between the item and your skin and not applying heat for prolonged periods.
Dentists may prescribe over-the-counter painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, which can help reduce inflammation and relieve wisdom tooth pain. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if there is an infection present or to prevent infection following extraction.
While ibuprofen can be effective in managing dental pain, it is important to note that other factors may cause wisdom tooth pain and should be properly diagnosed by a dentist. Relying solely on over-the-counter medications for pain relief may not address the root cause of the pain, and it is essential to consult a dentist for a comprehensive treatment plan.
These are essential for the early detection and monitoring of your wisdom teeth. Your dentist will examine your mouth to evaluate the position of your wisdom teeth. By identifying potential issues early on, your dentist can recommend appropriate measures to relieve dental pain and complications.
X-rays play a crucial role in the early detection of wisdom tooth-related problems. These images provide a clear view of the teeth, including impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth. Dentists can monitor wisdom teeth development and identify potential issues such as impaction, overcrowding, or infection.
Practising good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing wisdom tooth pain. Regular brushing and flossing help remove food particles and bacteria, reducing the risk of infections, decay, and gum diseases. Pay attention to the back of your mouth, including the wisdom teeth area. Additionally, using an antibacterial mouthwash can further help in maintaining oral health.
If your dentist determines that your wisdom teeth will likely cause problems or pain, they may recommend removal. Timely removal of wisdom teeth can help prevent complications. Extraction is typically recommended when the wisdom tooth is impacted.
A soft diet also plays a vital role in managing wisdom tooth pain and swelling.
When it comes to managing wisdom tooth pain, maintaining a proper diet can do – nutritious, soft foods can help reduce pain and discomfort. Here are some recommendations:
Soups – Opt for clear, warm soups and broths that are easy to consume and provide necessary nutrients.
Potatoes – Cooked and mashed potatoes are soft and gentle on the teeth, making them a suitable option.
Yoghurt and Smoothies – These are not only soft but also packed with essential nutrients. They can be a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamins.
Eggs – Scrambled eggs are a versatile and protein-rich option that can be prepared to a soft consistency.
Cooked Vegetables – Steam or boil vegetables until they are soft enough to be easily chewed. Examples include carrots, peas, and squash.
Soft Fruits – Opt for ripe and soft fruits like bananas and avocados.
Porridge – These warm and comforting options are easy to consume and can be flavoured with honey or cinnamon for added taste.
Certain foods can worsen wisdom tooth pain or cause irritation. It is advisable to avoid the following:
Crunchy/Hard – Foods like chips, nuts, and raw vegetables can apply pressure to the affected area.
Spicy – Spices can irritate the gums and cause discomfort.
Sticky/Chewy – Sticky candies, chewing gum, or foods like caramel can stick to the wisdom tooth.
Tough Meats – Avoid tough meats that require significant chewing, such as steak.
Adequate hydration can also contribute to relieving wisdom tooth pain.
Staying hydrated is imperative for general health and can aid wisdom tooth pain management. Drinking enough fluids helps prevent dry mouth and reduces the risk of infection. Here are a few points to consider:
Water – Water is a good option for hydration. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Herbal Teas – Non-caffeinated herbal teas, like chamomile or mint, can be soothing and hydrating.
Wisdom tooth pain can disrupt daily activities and impact your overall well-being. Understanding the causes and symptoms of wisdom tooth pain is crucial to seeking appropriate relief measures and treatment options. While temporary relief measures can reduce discomfort, consulting a dentist is essential to address the underlying issues. Adopting preventive strategies and maintaining good oral care can help minimise the likelihood of wisdom tooth pain. By staying informed and proactive, you can navigate wisdom tooth pain with confidence! Ensuring your oral health remains a priority.