An Aspen Dental doctor smiles softly.

Easing your wisdom teeth pain

If you’re experiencing wisdom tooth pain, call us right away. You’ll find options for treating unbearable wisdom tooth pain in a comfortable, caring setting.

Are wisdom teeth painful for everyone?

Not always. If wisdom teeth erupt, they usually do so by your early 20’s. If they haven’t surfaced by this time, you may never experience any issues. However, if you do experience wisdom teeth pain once they come in, you should call your Aspen Dental care team and seek treatment immediately.

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Wisdom teeth pain symptoms

As your wisdom teeth surface in the very back of your jaw, it’s common to experience sensitivity and discomfort, along with some tenderness near the area.

Seek help from your care team if you experience the following:

  • Extreme swelling around your gums

  • Intense pain, which could signal an infection or cyst that could damage your surrounding teeth

  • Sharp pain, which could be a cavity that has reached the nerve

In many cases your dentist will recommend removing your wisdom teeth to treat these issues.

What causes wisdom tooth pain?

Sometimes wisdom tooth pain comes from teeth that haven’t come in properly and cause complications. Other times, it comes from teeth that haven’t come in at all. Here are some reasons why you might experience pain in the wisdom tooth area:

An impacted wisdom tooth is one that doesn’t emerge properly. It may push up against a neighboring tooth or stay stuck under the gums. Impacted teeth can lead to problems like crowding, cavities, gum infection and cysts. Left untreated, these conditions can cause damage to your teeth and jaw, lead to unbearable wisdom teeth pain and, in some cases, cause serious health problems.

If your wisdom teeth don’t come in properly, you can find it difficult to floss between your
molars and wisdom teeth. Food can become trapped, giving bacteria a place to grow.
This bacteria eats away at the tooth and can cause a cavity, or hole, in your tooth. The
cavity can cause pain, especially when chewing.

Sometimes there isn’t enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth, so they only
partially emerge. Genetics may play a role here, since your genes determine both tooth
and jaw size. Unfortunately, partially emerged teeth can allow bacteria to enter the
gums and cause an infection. With an infection, you may feel pain, swelling and
stiffness in your jaw.

Sometimes a cyst or abscess will form by or near an impacted wisdom tooth. Both require treatment, but an abscess, or pus-filled pocket caused by bacteria, requires immediate care. An abscess can cause extreme wisdom tooth pain and can lead to a serious, even life-threatening illness if the infection spreads.

Treating wisdom teeth pain

Whether your wisdom teeth are coming in correctly or you’re experiencing complications, you’re likely to experience at least some discomfort. Here’s how you can find some relief at home:

  1. Salt water: Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can reduce inflammation and ease your wisdom tooth pain. For a homemade solution, mix half a teaspoon of table salt with a cup of warm water.

  2. Ice: Apply an icepack or ice wrapped in a towel to the side of the face with the painful wisdom tooth. Apply for 10 to 20 minutes every one to two hours as needed.

  3. Over-the-counter pain relievers: An over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen might dull your wisdom tooth pain. Remember to take medication only as directed.

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Removing painful wisdom teeth

Your Aspen Dental care team may recommend removing your wisdom teeth to treat the cause of your pain or prevent future issues. Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure and can safeguard your oral health when your wisdom teeth fail to grow in properly. We will be with you throughout every step of your care to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.

Relief from your wisdom teeth pain

Getting you out of pain is our top priority—call us today if you are experiencing unbearable wisdom teeth pain. We can help you find relief and help you avoid potential health issues. As always, your care team will keep you comfortable and well-cared for so you can feel like smiling again.