How to Deal With Wisdom Teeth Coming In

Three Parts:Rinsing Your Wisdom TeethRelieving Pain Caused by Wisdom TeethConsulting with Your Dentist

Wisdom teeth (or a third set of molars) appear in many people. If there is not enough space in the mouth for the teeth to emerge properly, they can cause pain and other problems.[1] If this is the case for you, see your dentist as soon as possible. They can advise you on treatment and discuss whether or not your wisdom teeth will have to be extracted. In the meantime, there are some simple methods to get some relief from the pain.

Part 1
Rinsing Your Wisdom Teeth

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    Soothe your toothache with a salt water rinse. Dissolve a teaspoonful of salt in a cup (8 ounces or 236.5 mL) of warm water. Swish the water around the problem tooth as a rinse, then spit it out. Doing this several times a day (every two to three hours) will help to reduce gum soreness and inflammation.[2][3]
    • You can also dilute a cup of hydrogen peroxide solution with water (one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water) and rinse. You can do this three times a day.
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    Use an over-the-counter mouthwash. An antiseptic rinse can hinder bacterial growth and soothe your gums.[4] Use the rinse as normally directed, unless your dentist advises you to do otherwise.
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    Use a prescription dental rinse. Your dentist may prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash containing chlorhexidine gluconate, which can also reduce inflammation.[5] Be sure to use this rinse exactly as directed, and ask your dentist about potential side effects (including teeth staining).[6]
    • Chlorhexidine should not be used for longer than three weeks in a row.

Part 2
Relieving Pain Caused by Wisdom Teeth

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    Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Always use pain relievers as directed. If your pain persists, you should see your dentist.[7][8]
    • If you are taking pain relief tablets, swallow them rather than placing them directly on your tooth or gum.[9] This is especially the case if you are taking aspirin, as it can damage your gums.[10]
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    Use cloves to relieve pain. Cloves and clove oil are traditional pain relievers for tooth problems, and medical professionals recognize their benefits as well.[11] You can apply clove products directly to the tooth area, and you will sense a numbing and pan relieving effect.
    • Look for clove oil where spices are sold, or in a pharmacy. Follow the directions provided with the oil, or ask your dentist how much oil you should apply to your tooth (normally you will not have to use very much).
    • You can also use dried cloves (available where spices are sold). Gently bite or suck on a clove, and you will feel a numbing effect. Be careful not to chew the clove or bite it hard, as it may have sharp edges that can irritate your tooth or gum. Swallowing it may also irritate your throat or produce a cough.
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    Put an ice pack on your cheek on the side with the problem tooth. Your ice pack should be soft and flexible so that it fits against your face and provide you some relief. If you don’t have one already, it’s easy to make one.
    • Mix 3 cups (.7 liters) of water and 1 cup (.24 liters) of rubbing alcohol and pour it into a quart-sized (or liter-sized) plastic freezer bag. Seal it well and place it inside another quart-sized freezer bag. Put in the freezer until frozen. When it is ready, it will be cold but flexible—perfect for giving you some relief from your wisdom tooth.[12]
    • Let it sit on your cheek for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.[13]
    • Never apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Wrap it in a thin towel or t-shirt to prevent damage to your skin.
    • It is not recommended that you use a heat pack.
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    Eat foods that will reduce toothache. Dentists recommend a low-sugar diet to help prevent tooth decay and pain. In addition, there are numerous traditional foods and drinks that are thought to help alleviate symptoms of pain and inflammation caused by wisdom teeth. Talk with your dentist for specific dietary recommendations and for information about foods you can consume to get some relief. Aside from cloves, these may include:[14]
    • Ginger, which can reduce inflammation
    • Onion, which contains several antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds.
    • Garlic, which has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
    • Warm black or chamomile tea, which can reduce swelling
    • Herbs and spices like oregano, peppermint, and cinnamon, which have various antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties

Part 3
Consulting with Your Dentist

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    Have your dentist examine your teeth. Your dentist will examine your wisdom teeth, as well as the general health of your mouth, teeth, and jaw. X-rays may also be taken to determine the position of your wisdom teeth. This examination will help your dentist determine the best course of action.[15]
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    Talk with your dentist about extracting your wisdom teeth.[16] Extraction is often recommended as a treatment for wisdom teeth that cause discomfort. Some dentists recommend extracting them even if they do not cause problematic symptoms.[17]
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    Talk with your dentist about other options for dealing with your wisdom teeth.[18] Some dentists see no reason for extracting teeth that are not causing problems, are reluctant to remove teeth in patients that have other health issues, or are concerned about potential complications.[19][20] Alternatives to extraction include:[21]
    • Regular exams to monitor for changes or complications
    • Medications to control symptoms and treat any infections
    • Operculectomy (removal of overlapping gum tissue)
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    Discuss the procedure of extracting your teeth, if applicable. During a consultation with your dentist, they can explain what the procedure will entail, how it will help you, any potential risks or complications, and how to recover from the surgery. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have.[22]
    • The procedure can be performed at a dental surgeon’s office. It should take about 30 – 60 minutes, and you will be allowed to go home the same day.
    • You will be given local anesthesia and perhaps sedatives for the procedure. Gum and connective tissues attached to the tooth will be removed, and the tooth will be carefully extracted. Finally, the opening left by the tooth will be closed with stitches.[23]
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    Recover from the extraction. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions for recovering from your surgery. You should be prepared for a few things:[24]
    • There may be slight bleeding during the first day after the extraction of your wisdom teeth. Your dentist will give you guidance on stopping the bleeding.
    • Some swelling and soreness in your jaw is to be expected for a few days following the extraction. In some cases even small bruises may appear on the cheek if the surgery was complicated. Your dentist will inform you of pain medications to take that will give you relief.
    • In order to reduce the post-surgery swelling, surgeon may inject some anti-inflammatory medication such as dexamethasone.
    • Plan on a few days of rest so that you can recover.
    • Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash for the first 24 hours after the extraction.[25]
    • Since your jaw will be sore, you should also plan on eating only soft foods like applesauce and yogurt for about a week.[26]
    • Drink lots of water the first few days after the extraction, but avoid caffeinated, carbonated, and hot beverages. Do not use a straw to drink, as the sucking action could cause complications with the wound.[27]
    • It will take several weeks for the wounds to fully heal.
    • Contact your dentist if you have questions or concerns at any time following the extraction, including signs of fever, numbness, or severe pain.


  • Remember to see your dentist as soon as possible for advice about your wisdom teeth.

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Categories: Teeth and Mouth