Wisdom teeth (third molars) mostly emerge anywhere between the ages of 17 to 25. With the first set of 28 teeth already formed, the wisdom teeth find themselves short of space for normal development, resulting in pain and discomfort. The term ‘impacted’ is sometimes used to refer to this phenomenon. An impacted tooth is one that has trouble breaking through the gum.
Sometimes a tooth does emerge but is then blocked by the adjacent tooth. In this case, the tooth is partially impacted, having developed at a faulty angle. Partially impacted teeth are hard to clean, so they’re prone to bacterial infection, which is yet another cause for wisdom tooth pain.
Sometimes the pain remains as the tooth pushes through the gum, then subsides afterward. Sometimes, it persists. You do not have to live in constant pain; there are plenty of remedies that you can use to get rid of it.
7 Effective Home Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain
Before you can think of going to the dentist, you should know that there are a lot of items around your kitchen that can relieve your pain. Home remedies have the advantage of being cost-effective and easily accessible. They’re also safe, devoid of the side effects that you would expect from prescription drugs. Here are the most effective ways to treat your wisdom tooth pain at home:
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda has plenty of applications in healthcare, including alleviating toothaches. Take a pinch of the powder and mix it with toothpaste. Apply the paste onto the affected tooth. The amount of pain and swelling, if any, should subside within moments. Also, note that you can use toothpaste by itself in this manner with positive results.
Onions contain phytochemicals that fight the infection-causing germs, giving you relief from the pain. Cut a slice of raw onion and chew it with the aching tooth. In case you can’t chew because of the pain, crush the onion slice and hold it against the tooth. Allow the onion juice to penetrate the tooth and gum.
Are you repulsed by the idea of chewing a raw onion? Well, so am I. Consider the discomfort short-lived compared to the relief it brings. There is the option of using mild onions, but they won’t be as effective. My take? Just pop some red onion, pungent as it is. You’re already experiencing worse distress anyway. You should feel the pain subside in a few moments, so it’ll be worth it. Afterward, you can get rid of the onion breath by eating a fresh fruit such as an apple.
Here’s something with a much more pleasant taste and aroma: good old peppermint leaves. Peppermint has both anesthetic and antibacterial properties, so it can reduce the pain and concurrently kill the bacteria that cause infection.
The application process is simple. Cut the fresh peppermint leaves into pieces and bite them against the aching tooth for at least 20 minutes. The pain should reduce significantly. In the absence of fresh peppermint, you can use peppermint extract. Use a cotton swab or even your finger to apply it directly onto the affected tooth and gum. Expect to feel some relief within a few moments.
4. Salty Water
Salt has diverse uses, and alleviating wisdom tooth pain is no exception. Add two tablespoons of salt into a glass of warm water and stir until dissolved. Hold the saline water in your mouth for as long as you can stand it, not less than ten seconds at a time, before spitting it out. You’ll begin to experience some relief.
Repeat the procedure every so often until your pain is completely gone. Dental bacteria thrive in an acidic environment. A saline solution is alkaline and negatively affects the bacteria. Even in the absence of toothaches, brushing your teeth with salty water improves your dental health.
If the wisdom tooth pain is accompanied by swelling, an ice pack will come in handy. If you do not have an icepack in your kitchen, you can make one by putting some ice in a plastic bag then wrapping it with a towel. Place it on your cheek and gently apply some pressure. The area gets numb, reducing the pain and swelling.
6. Clove Oil
The light-yellow oil features a distinct spicy aroma and diverse medical purposes. As far as wisdom tooth pain is concerned, clove oil is one of the best home remedies that you’ll come across. It contains an ingredient known as eugenol, which has both antibacterial and anesthetic properties. Clove oil not only stops the pain but bacterial infections as well.
Apply the oil directly onto the tooth and surrounding gums using a cotton ball. If the scent/taste is too concentrated for your liking, you can dilute it with olive oil. Reapply the olive oil as necessary as the pain will gradually subside. Do note that you can also use vanilla extract in place of clove oil with similar results.
Is your wisdom tooth pain accompanied by swollen gums? Then tea bags are an excellent home remedy. Place the tea bags in a cup of water and refrigerate them for a couple of hours. Drain the bag of excess water and place it over the hurting tooth.
Remember the soothing effects of ice that we mentioned earlier? In this scenario, they combine with the anti-inflammatory properties of tea, providing almost instant relief for the pain and swelling.
While it’s not comprehensive by any means, this list contains the essential home remedies for wisdom tooth pain. Try them one by one to figure out what works best for you. These home remedies will be a temporary relief for some and a permanent solution for others.
You can also try different combinations. For instance, you can chew an onion piece, then rinse with salty water. Should the pain persist, you can try some over-the-counter pain relievers. Ultimately, the only truly permanent solution for wisdom tooth pain is extraction, which you can discuss with your dentist.