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6 Home Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief

Updated on April 20, 2015

Why Do My Wisdom Teeth Hurt

Wisdom teeth - or third molars - can cause pain for a variety of different reasons. They often begin to appear in the back of your mouth between the ages of 15 and 21 and can take a long time to fully form.

Whilst they're forming, there are three main problems which most commonly arise:

  1. Emerging at the wrong angle
  2. Being too big to fit in the mouth
  3. Become blocked on their way through the gum

Emerging at the Wrong Angle

When a wisdom tooth begins to emerge, it has to follow a very specific trajectory to ensure it appears in the correct place. If the third molar begins to come through at the wrong angle it can get jammed behind your other teeth. Aside from causing significant pain, this can lead to problems with the structure of your jawbone as the wisdom tooth can begin to push your other teeth out of place.

Being Too Big for the Mouth

A lot of people can be accused of having a big mouth, but when discussing wisdom teeth that can be considered a compliment. Occasionally, the tooth emerging through the gum is too big for the small gap it's been designated which can cause it to disjoint the other teeth and leave you in a lot of pain.

Becoming Blocked

As the tooth forces it's way through the gum, it can become blocked halfway through. This can lead to intense pain for the person suffering but also lead to infection as bacteria and food particles can become trapped in the ruptured gum. This can lead to tooth decay in the third molar but also the teeth around the wound.

Those are the three principle reasons people suffer from wisdom teeth pain and it's not uncommon to discover them working together to cause significant pain and damage to the gum.

Symptoms of Third Molar Problems

If you're having problems with your wisdom teeth, it's very likely you'll be suffering from at least one (but most likely many) of the following symptoms.

  1. Swollen gums
  2. Soreness and tooth ache
  3. Bad breath
  4. An ever-present bad taste
  5. Pain when chewing

It's important to speak to a dentist if you're suffering from these symptoms as you can end up in a lot of pain if the problem isn't corrected. Remember, it's very likely you'll be able to see the top of your wisdom teeth emerging (or at least feel them with your finger) so you can quickly identify their presence alongside the symptoms.

An Impacted Wisdom Tooth

An impacted third molar resting at the wrong angle
An impacted third molar resting at the wrong angle | Source

Home Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief

As we've identified the causes and symptoms of wisdom teeth problems, it's about time we considered the different home remedies available to help you ease the pain. None of the methods I'm going to mention require you to go to the dentist, but I'd greatly implore you to do so because - whilst these tips will help with pain relief - they will not eradicate the problem long term.

Each of the different methods discussed can be used in unison with each other and most only require a quick trip to the shop before you have everything you need to help ease the pain caused by your emerging third molar.

The 6 methods are:

  • Icing the area
  • Changing your dental hygiene habits
  • Altering your chewing habits
  • Using a saline solution
  • Using a teabag
  • Kitchen based remedies

I'm going to explain each method in more detail below, analyzing the purpose behind each tip and how they can help in different ways.

Best Way to Ease Toothache Pain from your Sofa

TMJ Soft Stretch Wrap with Chin Cup with 4 Hot & Cold Packs by Cool Jaw
TMJ Soft Stretch Wrap with Chin Cup with 4 Hot & Cold Packs by Cool Jaw

Designed to ease pain once the wisdom tooth has been removed, but an excellent appliance to use to ease pain before surgery too.

 

6 Home Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief

Ice Pack Method

This method is probably one of two that I feel anybody could perform right now without leaving the house, as almost everybody has a freezer. All you need to do is freeze some water or scoop some ice from the back of your freezer and wrap it inside a damp tea towel or cloth and hold it against the painful area of the jaw. Ice will quickly cool the area down and restrict blood flow to the area which causes numbness and pain reduction.

Changing Your Dental Hygiene

If you're suffering from pain because of your wisdom teeth - or any tooth ache to be honest - making simple changes to your dental hygiene can make a big difference with pain relief. I recommend making four key changes to help relieve the pain of toothache:

  1. I recommend using an electric toothbrush as they are more effective than standard brushes. No matter how effectively you brush, the vibrating motion of an electric toothbrush can be extremely beneficial when cleaning your sore tooth. It can help to break down any decay as well as remove those hard-to-reach food particles which can lead to infection if not dealt with.
  2. Start to use mouthwash because an impacted third molar can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will help to kill of bacteria helping to ease your pain and increasing your chances of avoiding an infection.
  3. Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth as this will help to ease pain when brushing and leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
  4. Make sure you brush and use mouthwash after every meal to ensure that food particles don't become trapped in the wound left by your tooth.

Implementing these simple changes can make a big difference to the pain you feel and can help you to avoid infection.

Altering Your Chewing Habits

Everybody needs to eat but having toothache can make chewing painful. If you have a sore tooth one the right side of your mouth, then you can reduce the pain you feel whilst eating by predominantly chewing on the left side of your mouth. Basically, you want to chew on the opposite side to the pain.

Also, try not to eat food such as potato and red meat as they can be very chewy food which places stress on the sore tooth. Try to focus on more liquidized food until a dentist can remove the offending tooth or aim to eat food which isn't chewy, such as yogurt, where possible.

Finally, an interesting form of pain relief can come from chewing frozen vegetables. If you place a carrot in a freezer and let it cool until it's almost frozen and then chew it gently with your sore tooth, it can help to ease the pain by numbing the area (similar to how the ice pack works.) Be careful not to chew too hard as this will place stress on the wisdom tooth and cause more pain rather than ease it.

How to make a Saline Solution to help with Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief

Saline Solution

Arguably the most widely known and most popular home remedy for wisdom teeth pain relief, swilling a saline solution has two primary benefits when battling toothache. Firstly, the warm salty water can help with pain relief by massaging the sore area, but more importantly, swilling the salt solution around for about 5 minutes will significantly help to remove the bacteria from the wound and help prevent infection.

To create a saline solution, take 1/2 a tablespoon of salt and place it in about 8 ounces of warm water. Stir until the salt is dissolved and then swill the solution for 5 minutes before spitting it into the sink. This is a very useful solution as it's easy to produce (all you need to buy is salt) and prevents the bacteria from causing further problems down the line.

Teabags

This is the second method I feel can most likely be used without leaving the house, but that could be because I have a never ending supply of teabags in the house.

Pour hot water into a cup and add a teabag, after about two minutes remove the bag and place it in the fridge or freeze to cool down. Once it's cooled place the teabag into your mouth and let it rest over the sore area of the gum. This will help ease the pain and reduce swelling in that area because teabags contain Tannic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Kitchen Based Remedies

There are several different tricks you can utilize simply by applying a few different food types and herbs to the tender area. Below I've summarized the key benefits of each food type and how to use it for the best possible effect, but I'd recommend using more than one together to achieve the best possible results.

Kitchen Tricks to Help with Toothache

Food or Herb
How to Use
Property
Cucumber
Place over sore area inside the mouth
Anti inflammatory
Garlic
Chew gently to release juices
Anti inflammatory and pain relief
Peppercorn
Crush and mix with clove oil
Pain Relief
Vinegar
Swill in the mouth
Anti-Bacterial and Pain Relief
 
 
 
How to use different foods to help with wisdom teeth pain relief

Different Home Remedies

Which Method of Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief Would You Opt to Use?

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Conclusion

Each of the methods discussed above can be effective when used to reduce swelling, prevent bacteria and ease the pain of toothache. I would recommend using more than one method in cohesion with another as this will help you see the quickest benefit e.g. I'd always use an anti-bacterial solution alongside a painkiller as untreated bacteria can cause more serious problems long term. However, I feel it's important to again stress the importance of speaking to a dentist as each solution offered above is only a short term solution to help ease the pain.

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I've had wisdom tooth pain in the past. Useful article.