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Ways to Relieve Painful Wisdom Teeth

Family and Cosmetic Dentist Located in Brooklyn, NY

If your wisdom teeth are causing pain, you don’t need to suffer through it. Waiting and wasting time can worsen your condition and result in infection. Get the best advice on relieving your discomfort with Dr. Ella Dekhtyar at Broadway Family Dental, top top-rated New York City-based dental practice in the heart of Bushwick. With her dedicated team of experienced dentists, Dr. Dekhtyar eases your pain and handles all your wisdom teeth issues with compassion and gentle care. Schedule an appointment before your wisdom teeth become impacted and cause intense pain or start to push your other teeth out of alignment.

Pain in the wisdom teeth may resolve on its own, but in most cases, it needs active home management and treatment in dental surgery. Pain is usually felt at the back of the mouth on both the top and the bottom, where the wisdom teeth form and cause aching gums. Sometimes, one tooth will cause pain, and at others, multiple teeth will hurt at once.

This article discusses the symptoms and causes of painful wisdom teeth and recommends the best options for relieving the pain and seeking the best treatment.


Wisdom teeth can cause mild pain and discomfort as they emerge through the gums. They also make it harder to floss, allow food to become trapped, or bacteria to enter the gums.

If your wisdom teeth come through in the wrong position or there is a lack of room for them to grow, it can result in:

  • Pain, swelling, or stiffness in the jaw
  • Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
  • Difficulty opening the mouth or chewing
  • Bad breath


Wisdom teeth usually start erupting somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25. They begin moving up through the jawbone to break through the gum line and become a part of your chewing mechanism. The sensation of a tooth pushing through the gums can be irritating and turn painful.

At times, there is no room for a wisdom tooth in an individual’s mouth as the adult teeth have already developed. The lack of space can cause the wisdom teeth to come through at an angle or get stuck and not come through fully. This condition is called impacted wisdom teeth and makes the gums vulnerable as the surface breaks, but the teeth do not fully come through.

Food and bacteria can get trapped in the gums and lead to several issues, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Infections
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts

Home remedies and over-the-counter medication can help relieve impacted wisdom tooth pain.

Wisdom Teeth

Home Remedies

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause intense pain, ache, and tenderness. In most cases extracting wisdom teeth is the only way to resolve these problems. In the meantime, there are several home remedies and medical treatments to prevent pain and discomfort while you wait for a dentist’s appointment.

Read on to learn some of the most effective ways to relieve painful wisdom teeth.

Ice Pack

Applying an ice pack to your cheeks can reduce inflammation, which relieves pain. Cold has a numbing effect, which keeps down the swelling and reduces pain. Try holding an ice pack against the jaw for up to 15 minutes with 15 minutes of rest until the pain subsides.


Menthol is a natural pain reliever and provides a cooling sensation to the skin when you touch it. Dilute a mouthwash that contains alcohol, peppermint flavor, and menthol before applying it directly to the affected area.

Menthol is usually found in peppermint leaves. You can also use peppermint extract and place it near the painful area, apply peppermint oil directly to the affected or rinse with peppermint tea after it cools down.

Saltwater Rinse

It is a very simple home remedy for relieving painful wisdom teeth. Sometimes, a buildup of bacteria in the broken gums around wisdom teeth can result in pain. Saltwater has natural disinfectant properties, and rinsing the mouth with salt water can help eliminate bacteria and reduce discomfort.

Just dissolve around half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, swirl it around the mouth for several minutes, spit, and repeat. Do not swallow the saltwater solution. Rinsing your mouth with salt water two or three times a day is a good idea to keep the pain down.


Cloves are considered a topical pain reliever due to their numbing effects and are a good option for alleviating wisdom teeth pain. You can use a whole clove or clove oil to ease your tooth pain.

Place the clove directly onto the wisdom tooth where you are having pain. Hold the clove in place by closing your mouth, but do not chew it. You will notice the pain coming down shortly. If you are using clove oil, you just need to place a few drops on a ball of cotton wool. Put the cotton wool on the affected area and hold it in place till the pain reduces.


Research shows onions have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which help to reduce swelling and fight bacterial infections.

Cut off a piece of onion and chew it on the side of the mouth that has the pain. Keep chewing for a few minutes. As the juice from the onion goes into the gum, it eases inflammation and bacteria, bringing the pain down. Spit out the onion once you start feeling better.


A study shows that tannins present in tea bags contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It means tea bags can help to reduce swelling and fight bacterial infections. Make a cup of tea and put it in the fridge, leaving the tea bag in it. Once the tea is cold, take out the bag and place it inside the mouth where you are having pain.

Do not add any milk, cream, or sugar to the tea.

Medical Treatments

Medical treatments can also ease the pain resulting from an impacted wisdom tooth. They include:


Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that involves the use of thin, small needles to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism. Research suggests that inserting needles into the body can help relieve dental pain, including pain caused by an impacted wisdom tooth.

Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate dental pain after surgery as well. Studies also show it relieves pain in people waiting to receive emergency dental care.

Numbing gel

A numbing gel can effectively reduce the feeling of pain in the gums. The active ingredient in most numbing gels is benzocaine, which is an anesthetic and numbing agent. These gels are available over the counter or online under various brand names and can be applied directly to the affected gums frequently throughout the day to keep the pain down. Follow the instructions included in the product to find out how many times you can use it for optimal results.

Some people cannot use numbing gels as they are allergic to benzocaine. Check with your provider before buying the product.


Ibuprofen is a popular over-the-counter medication with anti-inflammatory properties. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that eases the pain by reducing inflammation in the affected area.

Taking the recommended dosage can keep away the pain and discomfort and lessen inflammation associated with wisdom teeth development until you see a dentist for proper treatment.

For most people, these remedies are temporary. If your wisdom tooth is causing too much pain or other problems, your dentist may recommend extraction.

Removal of the Wisdom Tooth

In cases when home remedies do no work and fail to alleviate the pain of an impacted wisdom tooth, removal is the only option. A dentist or dental surgeon can take out the affected wisdom tooth in a dental surgery.

The doctor injects a local anesthetic into the affected area to numb the pain and applies pressure to the tooth to loosen it from its place. If the tooth is fully erupted, a simple extraction is possible. However, if it is a difficult extraction, the surgeon may make small cuts around the tooth and cut the wisdom tooth into smaller pieces before it can be completely removed. This process usually takes a few minutes but can take up to 20 minutes and sometimes even more.

Once the tooth is taken out, you will not experience any more pain. The gum is only sore from the time until the anesthetic wears off until around three days. Taking proper care can help to prevent infection and ensure speedy recovery.

Caring for Your Wisdom Teeth – How to Prevent Cavities?

Wisdom teeth are harder than other teeth, which increases their chances of getting cavities. When your wisdom teeth are coming through, there are a few things you can do to care for them and prevent infections.

  • Practice good oral hygiene – Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and use mouthwash to get rid of bacteria and food debris stuck between the teeth that can cause infections.
  • Drink plenty of water – It helps to flush the food particles and bacteria away from gums and teeth.
  • Avoid sugary foods – Sweet and sticky foods stick inside the broken teeth and gums, encouraging bacterial growth.

Call your dentist if you have any questions or concerns or feel anything unusual in your mouth. Caring for your wisdom teeth timely can save you from a lot of pain in the long run.

Some important questions about wisdom tooth pain

Why Does Wisdom Tooth Pain Come and Go?

As wisdom teeth emerge, the pressure on the gums and neighboring teeth can cause pain and discomfort that comes and goes in cycles. The flap of gum that covers the biting surface of the wisdom tooth can also become swollen and get trapped between the teeth, causing more pain.

Can Wisdom Tooth Pain Get Better Without Treatment?

There are times when wisdom tooth pain may resolve on its own, without requiring any treatment. However, your dentist may recommend dental surgery if you have severe pain or if the wisdom tooth is causing issues like infection, cysts, tooth decay, or damaging the neighboring teeth.

Can the Wisdom Teeth Cause Pain in the Jaw or Gums?

Wisdom teeth can cause pain in the jaws or gums as they emerge. They also increase the risk of infections by allowing bacteria to enter the gums, which can result in gum pain, swelling, or stiffness in the jaw.

Home remedies and medical treatments have been proven to reduce pain caused by wisdom teeth, but they are only short-term solutions. When wisdom teeth become impacted, a dentist usually advises extraction for long-term relief from pain.

Call Broadway Family Dental today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Ella Dekhtyar today for expert advice about your painful wisdom teeth. Dr. Dekhtyar is a board-certified dentist and offers the newest and most advanced dental techniques and procedures that ensure a painless treatment experience. She provides the highest quality dental care from diagnosis to treatment in a friendly, relaxed environment and helps you feel better within the shortest possible time. With comprehensive dental care, you can look forward to finding the best solution for your impacted wisdom teeth.

Dial 718.455.4400 now if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with our dentist regarding your painful wisdom teeth.

Page Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dr. Dekhtyar (Dentist) of Broadway Family Dental

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