Fact Checked

How to Relieve Wisdom Tooth Pain

Written by Fernanda Elizalde

July 29, 2022

Medically Reviewed

By Dr. Brian Harris, DDS

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to emerge. Most individuals have four wisdom teeth at the rear of the mouth, two on top and two on the bottom. When this happens to teenagers or adults, they may describe them as painful wisdom teeth. This is normal, but you will want to find ways to relieve pain.

There are a few tips and tricks you can use if you are experiencing tooth pain from wisdom teeth. You can focus on oral health, experiment with anti-inflammatory herbs, use an ice pack, and try over-the-counter medication.

We will walk you through how to minimize discomfort from your third set of molars, properly care for infections after they're removed, warning signs of infections, and ways to find pain relief.

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Home Remedies to Relieve Tooth Pain

Most people get their wisdom teeth pulled between the ages of 18 and 24. The dentist will extract your third molars when they grow to be two-thirds of their full size.

This means you may experience growing pains, and neighboring teeth may even move around, causing throbbing pain.

You will want to find ways to battle jaw pain, reduce inflammation, and keep the surrounding teeth healthy. Try out these tips to help the impacted tooth when your wisdom teeth grow.

Try a Salt Water Rinse

This is one of the most popular home remedies to help reduce bacteria and help avoid a painful infection. A salt water rinse will also help with your breath and kill bacteria. Any buildup of bacteria can also cause pain, especially when wisdom teeth break through the gums.

When your wisdom teeth grow in, your gums may bleed, and it will be essential to keep up with oral health to minimize germs. Any bacteria could lead to gum disease, tooth decay, or cause pain. A rinse through the impacted teeth every day can help reduce pain and swelling caused by bacteria.

Cold and Heat Therapy

Applying an ice pack to your cheeks will help decrease swelling and irritation. Cold also has a numbing effect that might help with pain relief. Moderate heat may promote healing by alleviating stress and improving blood flow to the region.

You can choose whatever option feels the most comfortable for your painful wisdom teeth. This option may also help after wisdom tooth extraction to help reduce any swelling post-surgery. You can apply a compress a few times a day for several minutes.

Benzocaine

Benzocaine is a numbing and anesthetic agent. It is sold over the counter as a dental pain reliever under the brand names Orajel and Anbesol. Always ask your dental surgeon if this is a good option for your adult teeth before using it.

Experiencing pain from an impacted wisdom tooth can be hard to deal with, but this may be one of the best options for you. It is relatively inexpensive and can help with mouth pain.

Ibuprofen

Another option for wisdom tooth pain is to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen. The good news about this option is that it is something most of you already have in the home. It is not very strong but can help with dental problems before you can get to an oral surgeon.

Your last teeth can also be one of the most painful sets, especially when there is not enough room in your mouth. This over-the-counter drug may help when you experience pain. 

Natural Essential Oils to Relieve Discomfort

One tip you may not know about that can help wisdom tooth pain is the act of using essential oils on the impacted wisdom teeth. It can help with tooth pain after wisdom tooth removal and usually only requires a few drops. Many oils have anti-inflammatory properties and are safe for teeth. Here are the top essential oils for wisdom teeth pain.

Clove Oil

Cloves include a chemical known as eugenol, which may work as a numbing agent, decrease inflammation, and help alleviate wisdom teeth discomfort. Impacted wisdom teeth may benefit from this essential oil.

To use this oil, you will dampen a cotton ball and place it on the impacted tooth. Leave it on the wisdom tooth for 5-10 minutes before throwing away the cotton ball. This is a natural way to battle wisdom tooth pain.

Clove is very beneficial to dental health. Clinical studies show that clove oil may help alleviate dental discomfort and bad breath and prevent gum disease. Clove oil also has the natural capacity to limit the formation of germs and may aid in treating mouth and throat infections.

Lavender Essential Oil

You may be surprised to learn that lavender can be a great anti-inflammatory to rub on your gums and areas of your mouth. It may also help your jaw if it is feeling sore. If you are experiencing dental complications, it may be worth purchasing lavender oil.

Mix 1 teaspoon carrier oil diluted with one drop of lavender oil. Apply it to the afflicted region with your fingertips or a cotton ball many times during the day. If this is too strong of a taste for you, there are other options to choose from.

Make a mouthwash with two drops of lavender oil in a cup of warm water. Use three times daily. Finally, chilled lavender tea may be used as a mouthwash, and you swish it around the impacted wisdom teeth.

Thyme Essential Oil

Your wisdom teeth and even other teeth can benefit from thyme essential oil. Thyme has been used to relieve pain and inflammation for years. Thyme includes carvacrol, the same active component as in oregano oil which can also help reduce fever after wisdom teeth removal.

In a carrier oil, dilute two or three drops of thyme essential oil. Apply it to your teeth and gums with a cotton ball or your fingertips. Repeat this several times each day. You can also use this oil to make a mouth wash with water. All you need to do is add a few drops to a glass of water and swish it around the impacted wisdom teeth.

All of these oils may help with pain before or after the oral surgeon removes the wisdom teeth. If you are looking for natural ways to soothe your gums and mouth, these oils are worth trying. It may even help prevent future problems from occurring.

Wisdom Teeth Management - What to do after wisdom tooth extraction?

Getting wisdom teeth removed can cause pain. During the surgery, you will be under local anesthetic or a medicine that will help manage the pain during the procedure. However after wisdom teeth removal, your jaw may hurt, you may have painful gums, and if you don't take care of your mouth, you may get an infection that can hurt more.

Once you are done with surgery, your dentist should give you proper instructions on how to take care of the affected area. Even if you don't feel much pain, a dentist will still recommend you take care of your mouth and teeth. Keep in mind wisdom tooth pain is normal to feel and will go away after a while. Here are some steps you can take after your surgery.

  • Limit your usual activities.
  • Once you're done getting wisdom teeth removed, don't touch the area.
  • Rinse your mouth gently. Vigorously rinsing can cause bleeding.
  • Apply ice to your cheeks but do not ice inside the surgical site.
  • Remove the surgical pads as instructed by the dentist after your surgery. This is usually 30 minutes after wisdom teeth have been removed.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Take prescribed medication at the recommended dose.

    Even after you take these steps you may still feel wisdom tooth pain or accidentally get an infection. Here are a few situations that happen after things like maxillofacial surgery or when your wisdom teeth are removed.

    Bleeding After Surgery

    Bleeding is not uncommon after surgery, but it can be scary to deal with when it happens. If you are experiencing excessive bleeding, place gauze pads where your wisdom teeth were. This will absorb most of the blood. If the bleeding doesn't stop, you should call the surgeon who removed your wisdom teeth.

    Excessive Wisdom Teeth Pain After Removal

    Many young adults who get their wisdom teeth removed, will experience achy pains. Take Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol, or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) every 3-4 hours for moderate aching. Take your pain medicine as advised for severe pain. If you get a rash or other negative effects, stop taking them. Painkillers might cause dizziness, so stand slowly.

    Swelling After Wisdom Teeth Removed

    Swelling may occur around the lips, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face. This is a typical response of the body following surgery and ultimately healing. Swelling does not emerge until the day after surgery and does not reach its peak until two to three days later. Using ice may help wisdom teeth pain once they have been removed, but you can always ask your doctors for more advice on how to battle the puffiness.

    You May Experience Nausea

    If you have nausea or vomiting following surgery, do not swallow for at least an hour. Then carefully drink a coke, tea, or ginger ale. You may begin taking the suggested medication after nausea has subsided. An upset stomach is normal after your wisdom teeth have been removed.

    These are just a few side effects of the surgery and what happens with wisdom teeth pain. If you experience any aching or pain for an extended amount of time, you should always communicate with your doctor, especially if it is about your wisdom teeth pain.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Pain Last For?

    Pain after extraction can last for up to 3-4 days after your surgery. However, it depends on the person. If it has been a week since your surgery, call your dentist to talk about the pain you are feeling. The dentist may want to examine your teeth and prescribe you something or look for possible infections.

    What Does a Wisdom Toothache Feel Like?

    Most people will experience very intense pain in the back of their jaws. It can be described as a throbbing ache or pressure at the back of the jaw. Swollen gums are also common because the wisdom teeth are breaking through and cutting up the jaw. If the pain is severe, they may want to try a numbing gel to help.

    Will Wisdom Teeth Pain Go Away?

    Luckily, wisdom teeth pain won't last forever. If you do not need your teeth removed, the pain will stop when your teeth are done growing in. On the other hand, not all people will have room for wisdom teeth and will need to get them removed. During the surgery, a patient will be on medication to numb the senses. Once they wake up, their teeth may feel achy and sore for up to 3-4 days after the surgery. The pain should not last for more than a week, and it will go away.

    Summary

    Wisdom tooth pain is a normal part of life when your third molars start growing in. Not every person needs them removed because they will have enough room for new teeth. If you end up needing your wisdom teeth removed, don't fret. It's a normal part of life that many young adults go through, and the surgery usually goes smoothly.

    There are many natural remedies you can try and over-the-counter medications to battle pain associated with wisdom teeth. After your surgery, it will be imperative to keep your teeth cleaned and to keep up with oral hygiene to prevent infections and germs from spreading to the stitches. If needed, go back to the dentist for a checkup in a few months.