Dental Care

Wisdom Teeth Pain And Solutions

Want to know more about wisdom teeth pain?

Most people have three sets of upper and lower molars. 

The third set, located farthest back in the mouth, is often referred to as the wisdom teeth. 

These teeth, unlike other permanent teeth, typically erupt through the gums when a person is in their late teens or early 20s. 

Although many people's wisdom teeth come in normally without problems, their position in the back of the mouth makes brushing and flossing the wisdom teeth difficult to perform properly. 

When correctly aligned and healthy, the wisdom teeth can be valuable for chewing and grinding.  However, due to their hard-to-reach position and the difficulty of cleansing them properly, the wisdom teeth are more likely to be afflicted by tooth decay and infection than other teeth. 

Because good oral hygiene is difficult to achieve, gum disease in the immediate area is also more likely.  Wisdom teeth also can become impacted during the eruption process, a situation where the teeth remain fully or partially embedded in the jawbone or gum instead of fully emerging. 

Wisdom teeth pain can be caused by an abnormally tilted wisdom tooth (angled sideways, rearward or forward) rubbing against soft tissues of the gum, cheek, tongue, or top or bottom of the mouth. 

Pericoronitis, a sometimes-dangerous infection of the soft tissues surrounding a partially-erupted, impacted wisdom tooth, can also cause moderate to severe wisdom teeth pain. 

In short, misalignments, infections, cavities and impactions of the wisdom teeth can all be painful.  This wisdom teeth pain, which can range from moderate to very severe, is the reason most people visit their dentists for dental evaluation.

In addition to pathological conditions such as infection, cavities, malocclusions and impactions, pain or a sensation of pressure can also occur as part of a wisdom tooth's normal eruption process. 

In other words, even if the wisdom tooth is emerging from the jawbone and gum properly, pain can be the result.  Think of the pain felt by many young children while they're cutting their teeth, and you'll instantly understand this kind of wisdom teeth pain.

If you're having what seems like the "normal" type of wisdom teeth pain associated with a wisdom tooth that's erupting properly, you can consult your dentist to determine whether you can expect your pain to be temporary or whether it looks like the eruption process will be lengthy, with pain accompanying it for an extended duration. 

At this time, your dentist can also tell you whether the eruption is likely to be unsuccessful or abnormal, resulting in an impacted wisdom tooth. 

If that's the case, your dentist will almost certainly recommend the extraction of the offending tooth in order to prevent protracted pain, potentially dangerous infections and the possibility, albeit rare, of cysts or tumors developing in the tissues surrounding the tooth.

If you and your dentist decide to leave the wisdom tooth in place instead of extracting it, he or she might recommend periodic X-rays to evaluate its condition on an ongoing basis.  Regular X-rays will allow your dentist to keep an eye on the situation and evaluate the tooth as well as the surrounding tissues for any changes that might suggestion the formation of a cyst or tumor. 

Your dentist might also prescribe an analgesic to relieve your pain.

If you're experiencing minor wisdom teeth soreness, you might be able to reduce or eliminate it on your own, by trying one or more of the following suggestions. 

However, if your pain doesn't respond to these home remedies, persists for more than a few days or becomes severe or constant, it might indicate a serious problem that should be evaluated and treated by your dentist as soon as possible.

Tips for Dealing with Minor Wisdom Teeth Pain at Home

  • Chewing gum on the side where you feel pain will gently massage the area and might offer some temporary relief.
  • Apply an oral topical numbing product to the painful area. These products can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy, grocery store or discount supercenter. A small amount can numb the site for 30 minutes or so, providing temporary relief from wisdom teeth pain.
  • Rinsing with warm saltwater for 30 seconds or so can also provide temporary relief. Just make sure you don't swallow the saltwater when you're finished swishing.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen can help a great deal with the pain that comes along with emerging wisdom teeth. Always follow the directions on the packaging, and don't exceed the recommended dosage.

Wisdom teeth soreness can be a normal, temporary result of wisdom teeth emerging from the jawbone and gums, or it can signal the presence of a potentially much more severe or long-lasting condition. 

When you're experiencing wisdom teeth pain it's always wise to visit your dentist.


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