Wisdom teeth can cause serious pain if they’re not allowed to develop normally. In some cases, there may not be enough room in the jaw for them to fully emerge, which causes parts of them to stay below the gum line and grow at awkward angles that places pressure on other teeth.
If you’re currently dealing with wisdom teeth pain, there’s some good news—there are a number of ways to help mitigate and even eliminate your discomfort. Here is a look at some of the most common and successful remedies for dealing with wisdom teeth pain.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The most obvious and effective way of dealing with wisdom teeth pain is to have them removed, and if yours are causing a problem, there’s a strong chance your dentist will recommend this method.
During the removal process, your dentist will begin by numbing the affected area using a local anesthetic—although sometimes general anesthesia may be used if you have more than one tooth removed. After the area is numbed, your dentist will make an incision in the gum line to help expose the wisdom teeth that were unable to break through. Next, the tissue connecting your teeth to your jaw is severed and the teeth themselves are extracted. If they’re particularly big, your dentist may need to break them into smaller pieces for easier removal. Finally, the gumline is closed up using stitches that may dissolve on their own over time or require another visit for removal.
The recovery period for wisdom teeth removal can be quite painful itself, but it only lasts a few days. Additionally, your dentist will probably provide you with painkillers to help ease your discomfort during this time.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also referred to as NSAIDs) are a type of over-the-counter medication that can provide temporary pain relief for a number of conditions, including tooth pain. Many common drugs, such as Advil, Aleve, Bayer, Excedrin, and Motrin fall under the category of NSAIDs.
While most people can take medications such as these on a regular basis, there are some potential side effects you should be aware of. People with asthma are at a higher risk of developing an allergic reaction to NSAIDs, although researchers are still unclear as to why this is. If you suffer from this condition, it’s best to consult with your general physician before using NSAIDs to treat wisdom teeth pain. Additionally, in high doses these medications can reduce blood flow to your kidneys, which may cause permanent damage. If you take NSAIDs as directed, there’s only a small chance of this happening, but if you’re dealing with pre-existing kidney problems, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor as well.
Tooth-Specific Pain Relievers
Benzocaine is a mild anesthetic that is used in a number of topical pain relievers for tooth pain, such as Orajel. This substance helps temporarily numb the nerve endings of your teeth and gums, which can ease discomfort.
When used as directed, products containing benzocaine don’t pose any life-threatening risks. However, if you suffer from other allergies, it may be best to consult with your doctor before using these products in order to avoid any potential allergic reactions.
Some people only experience wisdom teeth pain when pressure is placed on them, and if this is the case with yours, it may be easiest to simply try and avoid it. This might mean chewing with your front teeth or moving food to the side of your mouth that isn’t as painful. While you’ve obviously got to continue eating, try to keep from unnecessary chewing by avoiding gum or candy.