What to Do When Your Wisdom Tooth Hurts

Waking up with a hurting wisdom tooth is one of the worst feelings in the world. There is nothing more excruciating than the pain that one can experience due to this seemingly insignificant part of the body. The wisdom tooth, or what is scientifically called as the third molar, is a protrusion that usually appears at the rear portion of one’s mouth between the ages of 18-24. It is the last set of molars that grows out, which makes it highly prone to misalignment. So what do you do when your wisdom tooth hurts in its initial days?

First aid solution before a check-up

There are times when the pain will be unbearable before your appointed check-up. To provide a temporary reliever to slight discomfort, sometimes gargling with medium-hot water with dissolved salt can reduce the inflammation. Saltwater is an excellent disinfectant that can prevent bacterial build-up around the swollen gums; thus, helping with pain management.

Using an antibacterial mouthwash that has chlorhexidine as its ingredient can also help with the soreness. Another inflammation-reducing method is the application of an ice pack to the jaw area. The ice pack can be applied on the affected area for fifteen minutes whenever it starts hurting.

Additionally, pain relievers like ibuprofen and paracetamol can further alleviate the pain. There are also numbing gels available which have benzocaine as its active ingredient that can help the swelling in the gums. But, remember that these are only temporary solutions, so you still have to push through with your trusted dentist appointment to mitigate the concern and check your oral health, especially if your wisdom tooth hurts a lot.

Serious maladies 

Only one out of five adults get a wisdom tooth, so not everyone meets the fate of this troubling discomfort. However, for those who come to a point when medical intervention is necessary, it could mean that the wisdom tooth has become impacted. When this happens, a likely scenario is that the tooth has positioned itself towards the adjacent molar. It is also possible that it has extended on the rear portion of the mouth or that it has grown inward to the jawbone.

The consequence of this unusual positioning usually leads to creating damage on the second molar. Once infected, the problem can escalate to decay and gum disease. There are also circumstances where cysts can start to develop in the jawbone and nerve area.

What to expect during your dental visit

Experiencing pain is a good wake up call. When you visit your dentist, the first order of business after check-up is to get an X-ray of your teeth. In doing so, your dentist can have a clearer picture of how the wisdom tooth is positioned improperly and how much damage it has done to the surrounding area.

In many cases, an operation is necessary. This surgical operation often takes twenty or more minutes.  Local anesthesia is given to numb the pain. During the procedure, the dentist will work on widening your tooth socket so that the problematic tooth can be removed. If he finds it challenging to do, your dentist may cut it into tinier bits. He might also make a small incision on the gums so that the root can easily be accessed. Like all other procedures, you will only feel a little pressure as the dentist rids you of your wisdom tooth.

Recovering from the operation

Expect that there will be some slight swelling in the area after the operation. This bruising would typically last for three to fourteen days. Furthermore, you would feel some tingling sensation in your face. A sore or stiff jaw is also to be expected. These feelings should not be a cause of concern since it is the body’s natural way of healing. You should only be worried if there will be excessive bleeding in your mouth. 

It is advisable for those who are recuperating from the operation to drink pain reliever and antibiotics as advised. To not exacerbate the pain and put too much pressure on your gum and teeth, you should only have a soft diet for the next two weeks. Exercising and smoking are strictly not allowed too. 

The growth of the wisdom tooth is a natural occurrence. However, it becomes problematic when it takes on an unusual position. Sometimes, the pain it causes can be temporarily remedied by simple means. However, when the problem keeps persisting, a dental visit is a must to prevent further unnecessary outgrowth and pain. In some circumstances, there will be a simple surgical operation to solve the problem completely. After a week or two, you can confidently smile again without your tooth bothering you. 

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