How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Pain Last?
You may have some wisdom tooth pain due to impaction, or you may have just had them removed. The pain should go away in a week or two after surgery, but in the meantime, you can take an over the counter pain reliever, use an ice pack, use a numbing gel, rinse with salt water or clove oil, or use some vanilla oil to apply to the site of pain.
Everyone will have a different experience, depending on what is causing their wisdom tooth pain. If you have significantly impacted wisdom teeth, the pain can be quite substantial. If you have to have a wisdom tooth extraction, the recovery should take no more than two weeks and you will be as good as new.
What is a wisdom tooth and why do we have them?
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that erupt by the age of 17 or at latest early adulthood. It is also entirely possible to not have any wisdom teeth, or perhaps you might have them on just the upper jaw or just the lower jaw.
It is also possible that a person’s wisdom teeth come in just like all the rest of their molars, while others have significant impaction leading to tooth pain.
What causes wisdom tooth pain?
If your wisdom teeth come in impacted, it can be quite painful. If this happens it is more than likely that they will need to be removed to improve your overall oral health.
What does impaction mean? It means that your wisdom tooth is not aligned correctly to break through the gums correctly. It can be crowded by the other molars that don’t leave it enough room. You may also experience a situation where the wisdom tooth ends up crowding the other teeth and pushing them out of place. This can also lead to a lot of pain.
Your wisdom tooth may also come in partially impacted, meaning the crown is visible but the tooth is not coming in straight or it is only partially coming in. This can lead to a gum infection due to food particles getting trapped around the crown. That bacteria can also mean that the wisdom tooth and the molars next to it can have a higher rate of decay.
If you are experiencing wisdom teeth pain, you should call a dentist or oral surgeon and ask how experienced they are with wisdom tooth extractions, if you don’t already have a dentist you see regularly. He or she will take some X-rays to see what is going on and how your wisdom teeth are erupting.
What happens in a wisdom tooth extraction?
To reduce pain, you may be scheduled for a surgery called a wisdom tooth extraction. During your procedure, you will get either local or general anesthesia, depending on how awake you want to be, and how much work needs to be done.
- If it is a pretty simple extraction, the dentist will remove the tooth and then leave the area to heal on its own. You probably will not even need to have stitches.
- But, if your wisdom tooth is more impacted, it will involve your dentist or oral surgeons making an incision into the gum to get to the tooth. The tooth may even have to come out in pieces, depending on how it lies in the jaw.
- Once the tooth is out, then your dentist will clean out the gums and make sure there is no further infection or broken bits of tooth, then put in some gauze to absorb the blood.
After the operation is done, you may have some wisdom tooth pain while the teeth and gums heal. You may even experience a little swelling in the gum tissue. This is completely normal – you have just had surgery and your body is trying to heal.
Your dentist will have a recovery plan for you and you need to be sure to follow it, including all of the home care instructions. You may be sent home with some pain medications for a few days and then you will likely be told to switch off to an over the counter pain reliever. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic to take. It’s important to finish the course of antibiotics if you were given one to reduce any infection in the area and therefore keep you from having wisdom tooth pain.
Some people have found relief with home remedies using essential oils such as clove oil or vanilla to help relieve the discomfort during recovery also.
You may want to try applying an ice pack on the affected area to help reduce swelling the day you get home from having your wisdom teeth removed. You should use the ice for 15 minutes, then remove it for 15 minutes so you don’t freeze your face. Every person will have a different recovery time and while some may see bruising on the jaw or have a very sore jaw, others will spring right back and not show any symptoms.
If you did have to have stitches, your dentist will probably leave them in for one to two weeks before removing them. By that time, all of the bruises on your face should be gone and everything should be pretty much back to how it should be. Your wisdom teeth pain should also be gone after about a week post-surgery.
If you don’t let the clot form properly, you can end up with something called dry socket. It can be really painful and you may even be able to see in the hole down to your jaw bone.
How can you heal from wisdom tooth pain?
Your dentist will probably tell you to avoid smoking to let the area heal properly and also to keep you from ending up with dry socket. You should also avoid any alcoholic beverages for a few days.
You will want to be sure to gently clean the area after surgery so you don’t disturb the blood clots that are forming. You need them to help close off the hole and allow the gum to heal.
Letting the blood clots form properly does several things:
- They keep you from having a constant feeling of blood in your mouth
- They protect the hole from getting infected by blocking food and bacteria
- They help the gums grow new tissue
- They keep the jaw bone from being exposed to food particles or bacteria that lead to gum disease
You can help protect them by not brushing your teeth right next to the hole, not drinking hot coffee or tea, not drinking through a straw and creating suction, and not eating foods that require a lot of chewing. Soft foods are ideal, like soup or bananas.
You should rinse your mouth very gently with a medicinal mouth rinse or a warm salt water rinse for the first day after the extraction has taken place.
Though your experience may not be exactly the same as someone else’s, you should have pain relief from wisdom tooth pain in a couple of weeks after a tooth extraction procedure. With some over the counter medications or some ice, you will feel better in no time. You can enhance your recovery with some essential oils if you wish.
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