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Wisdom tooth pain can be a distressing experience, often occurring as these third molars emerge in the back corners of the mouth, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. While some people may not experience any discomfort, others may find themselves seeking relief from pain, swelling, and other symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth—those that do not fully emerge through the gums. This article explores various methods to alleviate wisdom tooth pain.

Wisdom Tooth Pain Before Wisdom Tooth Removal

Understanding Wisdom Tooth Pain

Wisdom teeth may cause discomfort as they push through the gums, potentially leading to inflammation, infection, and impact on adjacent teeth. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, difficulty opening the mouth, and even bad breath. These issues arise due to the teeth emerging at an angle or not having enough space to develop properly.

Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Pain

  • Discomfort and Pain: As the wisdom teeth push through the gums, individuals may experience varying degrees of pain.
  • Swelling and Inflammation: The gums around the emerging tooth can become swollen and tender.
  • Difficulty Opening the Mouth and Chewing: The pain and swelling can restrict jaw movement.
  • Bad Breath and Taste: Trapped food and bacteria can lead to bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
  • Gum Issues: Symptoms may include swollen, tender, or bleeding gums.

Causes of Wisdom Tooth Pain

  • Impaction: Wisdom teeth may become impacted if there isn't enough space in the mouth or they grow at an incorrect angle. This can prevent them from fully emerging and lead to pain and infection.
  • Infection: Partially emerged teeth can leave the gums vulnerable to bacterial infection, causing pain and swelling.
  • Pressure on Surrounding Teeth: As wisdom teeth push through, they can exert pressure on adjacent teeth, causing pain and misalignment.

Home Remedies for Relief

Saltwater Rinse

A simple yet effective method to reduce pain and bacteria in the mouth. Dissolve a few tablespoons of salt in a glass of boiled water, cool it down, and rinse your mouth several times a day.

Cold Compress

Applying an ice pack to the jaw can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Use a tea towel to hold the ice pack against your jaw for up to 15 minutes, repeating as needed.

Clove Oil

Known for its numbing effect, clove oil can be applied directly to the affected area using a cotton ball. This natural remedy can provide temporary relief from the discomfort.

Peppermint Treatments

Peppermint leaves or oil can offer a cooling sensation, potentially easing the pain. Apply peppermint extract with a cotton ball or use cooled peppermint tea as a rinse.

Over-the-Counter Solutions

Pain relievers like ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Numbing gels containing benzocaine or lidocaine may also provide temporary relief when applied to the gums.

When to Seek Medical Treatment

In cases where home remedies do not provide sufficient relief, or if symptoms worsen, it may be necessary to consult a dentist. Impacted wisdom teeth that cause persistent pain, infection, or other dental issues may require professional wisdom tooth removal. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, with recovery times varying from a few days to a week.

Meet our Oral Surgeon Dr Luca Licheri

Dr Luca Licheri Italian Dental Surgeon

I earned my Diploma in Dentistry at the University of Cagliari, in 2002 in Italy. I decided to continuing my studies at King's College London until 2008, where I pursued a Master's degree in Oral Medicine and Pathology.

My mission is to create a positive experience for my patients, to help them achieve the smile they desired by respecting their individual needs.

I provide surgical tooth extractions at Forest & Ray
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Preventive Measures

Maintaining good oral hygiene can prevent some of the discomfort associated with emerging wisdom teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and the use of mouthwash can help keep the area clean and reduce the risk of infection. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and drinks can protect against cavities and further discomfort.


Wisdom tooth pain can range from mild to severe, but there are several effective methods for managing the discomfort. Home remedies, combined with over-the-counter treatments, can provide relief in many cases. However, persistent or severe pain should be evaluated by a dental professional to determine if removal or other treatments are necessary. By understanding the causes of wisdom tooth pain and exploring various relief options, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their symptoms and maintain oral health.

About Forest & Ray

Forest & Ray is a private dentist in London (Holborn, Camden) practice offering a wide range of treatments (basically everything), same-day appointments 7 days a week and affordable prices. The key behind a beautiful smile is self confidence, and success. At Forest & Ray we ensure to help you to the best of our ability. If you place your trust in us, we will make sure you achieve your goals and maintain oral hygiene to the maximum of its capacity. Regardless of any age or condition, we promise painless treatments and a professional team.

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