Wisdom teeth are the last ones to break out and are seen growing out at the back of a person’s mouth. Normally there are 4 wisdom teeth, one each at the top and bottom of the furthest corner of the gums. Sometimes wisdom teeth while coming out cause pain and discomfort and are recommended to be removed. This wisdom tooth pain can either get solved on its own or need treatment in the hospital. There are also some very useful home remedies to get relief from wisdom tooth pain.
What Causes Wisdom Teeth Pain?
Wisdom teeth are most impacted, which means they are not able to completely enter the mouth. Also, sometimes they are not able to break through the gums. It is estimated that about 70 percent of people have at least one wisdom tooth that is impacted.(1)
Being impacted is a major reason for pain in the wisdom tooth, other reasons being:
Sometimes, an impacted tooth affects the surrounding teeth. Some people also experience a cyst around the location of wisdom teeth. The location of wisdom teeth is such that it is hard to clean there, which leads to poor hygiene.
Home Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain Relief
Peppermint is a natural cooling agent and is known for its pain-reducing properties.(2) There is no evidence for its effectiveness but it is surely considered a safe home remedy for treating wisdom tooth pain.(3) It can be directly applied to the area of pain or can also be used as a mouth rinse to bring down the pain.
Saltwater rinse is a very effective home remedy for toothache. Research done in 2016 suggested that rinsing gums with warm salt water helped in promoting healthy gums and killing harmful bacteria.(4) Wisdom teeth sometimes hurt other teeth and can even create cysts while erupting, it is therefore important to keep the mouth clear of harmful bacteria. A study was done in 2014 on 47 people undergoing periodontal surgery. It was found that saltwater rinse has anti-inflammatory effects similar to 0.12 percent of chlorhexidine solution.(5)
Clove is a very common and well known home remedy for toothache. There has an active ingredient present in it known as eugenol that has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects.(6) It can be used in the form of essential oil or by boiling cloves in water and massaging its water on the painful gums. Eugenol in high doses can lead to liver toxicity. Therefore one should be careful to not ingest too much of it.(7)
Cold and Heat Therapy
Ice pack application to the cheeks can help in reducing swelling and inflammation and numbing the pain. Gentle heat application can relieve tension and improve blood flow to the area and promote healing.
Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help in reducing inflammation around the area where the wisdom tooth is growing.(8) It also helps in healing gums that get scratched when the tooth is coming out. Pure aloe vera gel can be applied to bring down the pain.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree is an antibacterial agent that may kill the bacteria growing in the teeth.(9) It also helps in reducing the inflammation around the gums. It should never be applied directly to the teeth and also should never be swallowed.(10) It can be diluted with a carrier oil before application.
Other Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain Relief
Acupuncture: Small needles are used in acupuncture to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms.
It is found effective in relieving dental pain after surgery. A study found acupuncture to be effective in relieving pain in people waiting to receive emergency dental care.(11)
Medications: Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and Benzocaine are a few medications that are known to be effective in relieving dental pain.
Removal: In some cases, where none of the above-mentioned remedies prove to be effective removal of the tooth is suggested. Wisdom tooth removal is done by a dental surgeon.
How to Prevent Wisdom Tooth Pain?
The first thing a person can do to prevent pain during wisdom tooth eruption is to prevent infection. This can be done by:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. This can help in reducing bacteria in the mouth.
- Drink plenty of water as it can help flush food and bacteria away from the teeth as they stay and lead to bacteria build-up.
- Avoid sugary food as it can get stuck inside broken gums and cause bacteria growth.
Anyone, if has sharp tooth pain, headache, bloody saliva, and feeling of abscess underneath the gums should consult a dentist. He can assess the condition and also prevent the spread of bacteria to other teeth if present.