wisdom teeth pain

Wisdom Teeth Pain – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

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Wisdom Teeth Pain – Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Wisdom teeth pain… I tell ya it is one of the most excruciating pains out there. Any toothache really. There is just something about a toothache that is just awful. I suppose the fact that it is all so close to the brain and has so many nerves has something to do with it. It’s like you feel a pulse or heartbeat inside of your tooth. And of course you have to eat. So there is that too.

If you landed on this page because you have wisdom teeth pain, then I am very sorry but hopefully you will find some good information here that can help you.

So, What are wisdom teeth?

In many adults, you’ll find 32 teeth and this includes 4 wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to erupt. You can see in the above pictures of wisdom teeth where there are located. In the above wisdom tooth picture, you can see that the wisdom teeth are #1, #16, #17 and #32.

Wisdom teeth are also known as the third molars. They are the 3rd permanent molars to erupt. Wisdom teeth eruption usually occurs around late teens to early adulthood. A typical age range for wisdom teeth eruption is age 17-25. This can vary from person to person. According to the ADA, they get their name because they erupt at a mature age.

Where are wisdom teeth located?

wisdom teeth pain

Also known as the third molars, wisdom teeth are located in the very back of your mouth. Located in red in the above picture. This is behind your second permanent molars.

When they show up, they often times cause problems because of a lack of room for them to grow in properly.

Wisdom Teeth Pain

There will come a time in the life of many people when they will have to deal with wisdom teeth problems or issues. Most likely these problems result in wisdom teeth extractions.

Getting to know more about wisdom teeth pain and when to have them taken out is important. Most likely, your dentist will help you to decide what to do after examining your particular situation.

For many people, wisdom teeth pain is persistent while others may only experience it when they touch or chew with the area.

For this reason, many dental experts suggest wisdom teeth removal before the pain escalates, especially when your wisdom teeth are coming in. Only a few lucky ones will not feel their wisdom teeth erupting at all.

Impacted wisdom teeth

impacted wisdom teeth

Above are impacted wisdom teeth pictures. You can see that impacted wisdom teeth can vary in many different situations. Wisdom teeth may erupt at a wrong angle or might only partially surface. In some cases, they won’t erupt at all. This can lead to what is called impacted wisdom teeth.

In most cases, a wisdom teeth impacted situation necessitates for the removal of the affected teeth. A wisdom teeth extraction.

You can see in the above picture a partially erupted wisdom tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth hurt and can cause a wide range of dental issues. This includes damage to surrounding teeth. You may also experience the existing teeth moving and becoming overcrowded. This can impact your gum or neighboring teeth.

There are also situations where impacted wisdom teeth can cause cysts. This will need to be resolved with an oral surgeon.

Keep in mind, however, that wisdom teeth may not trigger instant issues because some wisdom teeth impacted situations are painless.

Wisdom teeth pain usually starts with impaction due to a lack of adequate space for them to erupt. Wisdom teeth age ranges most times from 17-25 and some people will never experience any issues. But in a lot of situations, the mouth becomes crowded and prevents the normal development of the third molars. When they become trapped, we say impaction has occurred.

An impacted wisdom tooth can erupt partially, revealing a little part of the crown. Other times, it may not erupt at all. Regardless of whether it is a full or partial wisdom teeth impacted situation, you might observe that the tooth – 

  • Angles toward the second molar right next to it
  • Grows right-angled to the next tooth. In this case, the wisdom tooth appears to lie down inside your jaw bone
  • Angles facing the back of your mouth
  • Grows straight like normal teeth but is strapped inside your jawbone.

Any of the above-mentioned situations can cause you to experience wisdom teeth pain.

Wisdom teeth symptoms

So what does wisdom teeth pain feel like? Different signs are associated with wisdom teeth eruption. From wisdom teeth jaw pain to wisdom teeth swelling. A significant sign is persistent pain and infection. It is likely to feel significant pain along the jawbone and into the ear as well. Most people report wisdom teeth pain in the ear and jawbone.

This shows that you may need to extract your wisdom teeth as the irritation and pain can be hard to deal with. It is easy for a wisdom tooth to become impacted. This is down to a lack of space in your mouth or jaw to enable them to emerge like normal teeth. They then come in at an angle that is wrong and can become misaligned in your jaw. This position indicates that the wisdom tooth presses against the teeth next to it. If not treated, the misaligned wisdom teeth can damage your second molars and crowd your other teeth.

In some cases, you will experience no pain even if you have an impacted tooth. But if it starts to erupt, your risk of experiencing swelling and pain in the overlying gum is high. You will feel the pain in the nearby teeth or around the affected area. Wisdom teeth pain can last for a couple of days and cease for some weeks or months, only to return later. Taking steps to remedy the pain early enough is important as it can escalate if left unattended to. 

As a dental professional, I often see that many people wait until the pain is unbearable. Then they come to the dentist and have trouble getting an appointment quickly to get the area taken care of.

If a wisdom tooth erupts partially, food, as well as tartar and other particles, can start to accumulate inside and trigger gum swelling.

Other oral problems that could surface include pericoronitis and tooth decay. Pericornitis describes a kind of infection characterized by the trapping of food, tartar, and other particles inside the gum and impacted tooth.

I have personally suffered from pericornitis and it is not fun. Take steps to treat it to avoid further wisdom teeth infection.

Since wisdom teeth are located so far in the back of the mouth, they are typically extremely hard to keep clean. This often results in tooth decay. Due to their often misalignment, this can also result in tooth decay on other teeth that the third molars are touching.

Other symptoms and signs to look out for include:

  • Halitosis
  • Bad oral taste
  • Swollen jaw
  • Jaw pain
  • Red gums
  • Tender/bleeding gums
  • Problems with opening your mouth

Wisdom teeth treatment and extraction costs

Should you encounter any of the above symptoms, you should get yourself checked by your dentist. Quickly set up an appointment with your dentist to enable them to conduct an exam and decide whether or not you will need wisdom teeth surgery. They will check the area and carry out x-ays to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and their condition. Wisdom teeth extractions are usually recommended in very problematic situations.

How much does wisdom teeth extractions cost?

Wisdom teeth extraction costs depend on the complexity of the tooth removal procedure. You should budget anywhere from $75 to $200 per tooth for simple extraction procedures. For an impacted wisdom tooth, expect to spend anywhere between $225 and $600 per tooth. You may be privileged to get a discount if you opt to remove all the wisdom teeth at once.

In setting up an appointment to have wisdom teeth surgery performed, there is a possibility that your surgeon will have a busy schedule. This means you have to wait a while to get a space on their calendar.

Wisdom teeth pain remedies

Trying to get wisdom teeth pain relief? Here are some home remedies to help you cope with wisdom teeth pain during the waiting period before extraction include:

  • Applying ice chips to the affected teeth to reduce pain and swelling
  • Using salt water to rinse your mouth and help free up bacteria and food particles lodged in the teeth
  • Taking pain killers such as ibuprofen for temporary relief from wisdom teeth pain and discomfort

If none of the above wisdom teeth pain relief options work for you, discuss this with your dentist and they may be able to provide you something to help.

In conclusion…

The onset of wisdom teeth pain can be a challenging time. Getting early treatment for your condition is important. Take note of the symptoms and make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will examine your condition and determine the best form of treatment.

Kelly Hancock, RDH

Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.

This article and all advice on this website, Toothbrush Life, is intended to help people gain knowledge about general oral health topics. No articles or advice on this website are intended to replace professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or qualified healthcare provider to help you with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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