Your guide to Wisdom Teeth—Pain Relief

Even though you may take perfect care of your teeth, you still might have problems with your wisdom teeth.  Pain is a typical complaint.  Many people find that even though they have nothing wrong with their wisdom teeth they still experience discomfort at the site of their wisdom teeth.  Pain and irritation, however, may not always be a sign that you need to have your wisdom teeth pulled.  Often, this is just a passing condition.

WARNING: If the pain in your wisdom teeth is severe and/or sustained you should seek the advice of you dentist immediately. 

Although it isn’t unusual to have pain and discomfort with teeth every so often or when you teeth are first erupting form the gum line, you need to pay attention to messages from your wisdom teeth.  Pain that persists even after the treatments suggested below and goes on for day after day may be a sign of a more severe underlying condition.  In addition, if pain is severe at any time, this signals it is time to call your dentist.

Pressure Points

Pressure points are the least invasive and least expensive way to relieve problems with your wisdom teeth.  Pain, if it is moderate or light, dissipates through gentle pressure placed on specific points on the face and jaw.  It works like a siphoning of pain from one area to another.  Pressure points redirect the neural pathways, drawing attention away from the throb of the wisdom tooth to the gentle relieving push of your fingers on pressure points.  With moderate to slight pains like those commonly experienced with wisdom teeth, this may be enough to get you through the pain.

Warm Salty Water

Another natural and inexpensive method of reducing oral pain of all kinds is through a warm saltwater rinse.  Just pour some salt into a cup of warm water and then swoosh it around your mouth until you begin to get relief from pain.  Be sure to spit out the saltwater; do not swallow.  This will sometimes work with a more moderate pain.  It also will kill some kinds of bacteria. 

Massaging your Wisdom Teeth

Another favorite for many people is chewing gum.  Chewing gum is a great way to massage the wisdom teeth.  The gentle motion and pressure of the gum itself work to relieve the tooth pain.

Oral Pain Relievers

You will also find there are several oral pain relievers you can apply topically to the area of your wisdom teeth.  Pain relievers offer immediate though temporary relief for up to a half hour at a time.  They require a small investment and you should not use them as a long-term solution for pain, but they can provide temporary relief for wisdom teeth pain.

Over the Counter Pain Relievers

Over the counter pain-relievers, like acetaminophen, provide a more comprehensive solution for moderate to severe discomfort arising from your wisdom teeth.  Pain relievers of this kind, however, indicate that pain is reaching a critical mass, and signify you should seek the advice of dental professional.  Unless your wisdom teeth are just surfacing from your gums for the first time, you should not need this level of pain and inflammation relief.

Warning: Read the indications carefully.  Acetaminophen may have severe side effects, especially when taken in conjunction with other medications.  If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to consult your physician and dental specialist.

When is it Time to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed

If wisdom teeth begin to impinge on your other teeth, pushing them together, or if wisdom teeth create traps for food and bacteria that you cannot easily reach during cleaning, you may reach the point where it is time to have them removed.  You should come to this decision in consultation with your dentist and with an oral surgeon.  Removing wisdom teeth is a more invasive procedure than having cavities filled, but, as far as surgeries go, it is a relatively simply procedure.  You will be put under anesthesia and have a brief recovery period but the long-term relief will be well worth the temporary discomfort.