Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. They are also the final teeth to erupt; they usually appear when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. They may become impacted because there is not enough room in your mouth for them. A wisdom tooth also might be trying to come in sideways. Or, it might be tilted in your jaw. An impacted tooth is a tooth that gets blocked as it is pushing through the gum into your mouth (erupting).
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
– Swelling of the gum in the back of your mouth
– Difficulty opening your jaw
– Bad breath
– A bad taste in the mouth
– Pain when you open your mouth
– Pain when chewing or biting
Pain can occur for several days and then disappear. It can come back weeks or months later. The following home remedies can be used to reduce the pain.
1. Warm Salt Water Rinse
Salt water has natural disinfectant properties. Sometimes, a build-up of bacteria in the broken gums around wisdom teeth can be the cause of pain. As such, rinsing with salt water may help treat the infection and reduce the discomfort. All you have to do is pour about eight ounces of warm water into a glass and stir in two tablespoons of salt until it is completely dissolved. Wait till the water is cool enough to hold in the mouth. Rinse with the water for several minutes, or as long as you can stand the salty taste, and then spit it out. Repeat the process every few hours and you will begin experiencing pain relief.
2. Apply Ice
Applying an ice pack to the jaw can help reduce inflammation, which in turn may relieve pain. Using ice can also have a numbing effect. A person can try holding an ice pack with a tea towel around it against their jaw for up to 15 minutes. The ice pack can be applied off and on with 15 minute breaks until the pain has subsided.
Cloves may be the best-kept secret when it comes to relieving tooth pain. First, the pain is numbed thanks to clove’s anesthetic properties while an infection is prevented because of the antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. Either a whole clove or the clove oil can be used. If using a whole clove, place the clove over the wisdom tooth that is causing pain, hold it in place by closing your jaw without chewing. Leave it there until the pain reduces and then spit it out. If you are using clove oil, you can put a few drops of clove oil on a ball of cotton wool then put the cotton wool on the wisdom tooth that is causing pain. Hold the cotton wool in place until the pain reduces and then remove it. You can mix the clove oil with a little bit of olive oil if the flavor of clove oil is too strong for you. Repeat this treatment several times per day on an as needed basis.
A 2007 study found that onions have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The onion is effective because it contains phytochemicals that target the germs responsible for the infection, giving you a much-needed break from the pain. You can use this remedy by cutting off a piece of onion, chewing the onion on the side of the mouth that has the pain for a few minutes until pain reduces and then spit out the onion. This process allows the juice from the onion to go into the gum so that it can reduce inflammation and bacteria. If you find that the pain is too intense to chew, you can use your finger to hold the piece of onion directly against the problematic tooth and gum.
5. Tea Bags
If your wisdom tooth pain is the result of swollen gums around the infected area, tea bags are an excellent remedy. Tea is used in a lot of home remedies thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties found in tannic acid. Brew a cup of tea and put the cup in the refrigerator with the tea bag left in it. Once the tea is cold, the tea bag can be taken out and placed inside the mouth where the pain is located. This will help reduce the swelling and bring pain relief almost instantly.
Peppermint is very rich in anesthetic properties that will greatly reduce pain as well as remove bacteria in the mouth that caused the infection. On the plus side, peppermint has a natural fresh aroma, unlike other remedies. You can take fresh leaves and pack them into the affected area for at least 20 minutes and the pain should subside. Another way would be to take a few drops of peppermint extract and put it on a cotton swab applying it on your tooth. Leave it on your tooth for a few minutes and you should start to feel relieved from the pain.
7. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is very rich in antioxidants, it also helps with numbing the gums around the affected area. The procedure is very easy and should take effect within minutes. All you need to do is put some of the extract on your finger tip and rub it on the affected tooth. You can also take a cotton ball and soak it in vanilla extract, then rub it on the area or leave it in your mouth for a few minutes.
When your wisdom teeth are coming through, there are practical things you can do to make it less likely that your gums become infected and to avoid making your wisdom tooth pain any worse than it already is. These actions include:
* Stay away from foods that are hard or loaded with sugar. Chewing hard foods can make the pain worse while the sugar in sweet foods can get inside your gums and encourage the growth of bacteria.
* Drink lots of water to ensure flushing of food and bacteria away from the teeth and gums.
* Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash to help reduce the bacteria in the mouth that cause infections.
If all else fails, an over the counter medication such as ibuprofen can be used.
Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain, aches, and tenderness. Ultimately, removing the wisdom teeth can help resolve these problems.