Wisdom teeth are your third molars (the most posterior tooth in your mouth) and can be one of the most common causes of dental pain, luckily our emergency dentists in the West Midlands have years of experience dealing with these emergencies. Wisdom teeth are unpredictable teeth, which can either erupt (generally between the ages of 18 and 21) or not erupt at all. In some situations they may not even form; this is relatively common and is arguably beneficial for the person as wisdom teeth have very little functional involvement. Most problems that occur with wisdom teeth happen when they become impacted (stuck against another tooth) or partially erupted (where they only partially protrude from the gum). These problems can cause significant tooth and gum pain. If you are suffering from either of these problems, see one of our dentists as soon as you can. If the tooth is healthy and does not require extraction, he/she will advise you on how best to look after it and how to keep yourself out of pain. If the tooth is infected, decayed or causing damage to other teeth it may need to be extracted, though there is a degree of reluctance in taking out such a posterior tooth (which is renowned for its complex anatomy) if not completely necessary; some people may have to learn to live with wisdom tooth flare-ups and tackle them symptomatically.
Here are some ways to relieve the pain:
- Place an extra pillow under your head at night – most people find their wisdom teeth cause most pain whilst they are trying to sleep; by lying down more blood can flow to the wisdom tooth, which aggravates the pain caused by the inflammation. Less blood will flow to the area, resulting in less pain, if your head is slightly elevated.
- Take standard pain medication – One of the most successful medications in combating dental pain is co-codamol, which is a codeine and paracetamol combination medication. You can take ibuprofen alongside co-codamol for maximum pain relief. Two further medications recommended in combating tooth pain are Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen sodium). Be sure to always read the label before taking any medications and never exceed the recommended dose.
- Clove oil – use a standard clove to alleviate your pain by placing it onto the wisdom tooth, or place a few drops of clove oil onto it instead.
- Ice pack – hold an ice pack to the sore area to numb the pain. Make sure you only use it for a few minutes at a time as not to cause further pain.
- Vanilla extract (not vanilla essence) – add a few drops of vanilla extract to the wisdom tooth. It works by numbing the area (as it contains low levels of alcohol) and the scent had proved to be relaxing.
To ease the gum pain:
- Warm salt-water rinses – if your wisdom tooth is partially erupted and the gum around it is sore, rinse with warm salt-water. Be sure to force the water to the back of the mouth so it bathes the wisdom tooth.
- Difflam – this is a liquid that can be purchased from chemists and is good at easing discomfort from sore gum tissue around partially erupted wisdom teeth.
Wisdom tooth care:
- Interdental cleaning – flossing around your wisdom teeth can be nearly impossible. Try different ways of interdental cleaning like water floss, tepe brushes, dental sticks, etc. to see which one may work for you. If it is futile, try to rinse hard with mouthwash in that area.
- Keep your wisdom teeth really clean – you can buy special single-tufted brushes, which are good at accessing the back of the mouth, and cleaning under flaps over gum overlying wisdom teeth.
If you’re experiencing further problems with your wisdom teeth and would like to see one of our emergency dentists in the West Midlands please contact the team on 0121 357 5000 where we will be happy to help.