Although you probably don't remember teething as a baby, the arrival of your wisdom teeth can remind you of what toddlers suffer through: tender gums, aching teeth and pain. Beyond making you more sympathetic to a teething tot, wisdom teeth discomfort can also herald some potential problems in your dental health.
By understanding the cause of your sore gums and how wisdom teeth may play a part, you can find a method of wisdom teeth pain relief that reduces the aching sensation in the interim.
Wisdom Teeth 101
Wisdom teeth usually make their appearance between the ages of 17 and 21, though it's possible for them to push through earlier or later. Referred to as your "third molars," these four teeth begin to push through the skin like any other tooth, which can cause pain. However, wisdom teeth are much more likely to grow in at an incorrect angle – even sideways – causing impaction that can radiate this pain to the teeth in front of it. The American Dental Association (ADA) warns that wisdom teeth can also result in a host of following issues, such as infections and even cysts, so it's important to talk to your dentist when your wisdom teeth do come in.
For most, wisdom teeth removal is a good option. Until then, however, you'll need to confront the soreness naturally.
Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief
Sore Mouth Rinse
Rinsing your mouth can help you find wisdom teeth pain relief, so try this simple remedy: Mix a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of salt, and stir to dissolve. Swish this in your mouth for about 30 to 60 seconds before spitting it into your sink. You can repeat as necessary throughout the day.
Numbing wisdom teeth is a simple way to dull the pain, particularly if the pain is disrupting your day and doesn't seem to settle through other methods. Consider spreading a gel-based product such as Colgate® Orabase® 20% Benzocaine on your gums where wisdom teeth are protruding. You'll get the best results if you use a cloth to dry the area before adding the gel. Apply as needed throughout the day.
Cloves and Clove Oil
As an old wives' remedy, Mayo Clinic suggests using cloves or clove oil as a way to appease toothaches and wisdom teeth pain naturally. The best part? There's a good chance you already have cloves in your kitchen cabinet. Take a whole clove (don't crush or cut it) and place it in your mouth, directly on the spot causing the most irritation. Keep the clove in your mouth until you experience a numbing sensation. You can also use clove oil: Simply dab some on a cotton ball or swab and brush it gently over your sore gums.
Of course, an over-the-counter pain reliever can definitely help you get rid of that throbbing sensation so you can concentrate on your day. Just be sure to always read package directions, especially where dosages are concerned.
Although you can find relief at home when your wisdom teeth start to make their appearance, it's important to remember most pain-relieving measures are a temporary fix. You'll still need to make an appointment with your doctor to determine if your wisdom teeth should stay in your mouth or be removed by an oral surgeon. Whether you can just grin and bare it or your dentist recommends removal, it takes a pro's opinion to help you understand how to best deal with your third molars.