Wisdom teeth typically begin growing between the ages of 15 to 25 and many gum and dental problems can develop from the extra teeth. The most common effects of wisdom teeth coming out are overcrowding of the teeth, an infected swelling in the gum tissue around the growth, and pain or stiffness in the jaw area near the teeth. When the wisdom teeth are growing, most people experience significant pain or irritation around the gumline and inner cheek area; however, there are several ways to stop or reduce wisdom tooth pain.
Drugs that Help Stop Wisdom Tooth Pain
Prescription painkillers can help reduce the pain from wisdom tooth growth and help an individual sleep better. However, narcotics do have addictive properties and should only be used under medical supervision.
The most commonly prescribed painkiller to stop wisdom tooth pain is codeine. Acetaminophen such as Tylenol combined with codeine is a powerful painkiller that can stop wisdom tooth pain in under 20 minutes. This can be taken during the day or at night to provide temporary pain relief.
Hydrocodone is another popular pain killer prescribed for wisdom tooth pain and is typically coupled with acetaminophen. Hydrocodone can cause drowsiness, so it’s best used at night if the pain is preventing you from sleeping. Vicodin is often prescribed to manage excessive pain from wisdom tooth growth, and also for managing pain after a wisdom tooth extraction.
Oxycodone is one of the strongest pain relief prescription drugs available, and is considered to be a schedule 2 narcotic analgesic. It is typically prescribed for severe pain during emergency situations, and is not typically prescribed to manage wisdom tooth pain. However, some dentists may prescribe this drug if other types of narcotics are not working.
Toothache can also be managed with over-the-counter analgesics that are applied to the gum tissues to numb out the area. These can help provide temporary relief from wisdom tooth pain so that you can eat and drink with ease. Popular analgesics such as Anbesol are applied directly to the painful area and can stop the pain for up to 1-2 hours.
Natural Ways to Stop Wisdom Tooth Pain
There are a number of herbal and home remedies that can help manage tooth pain, but these do not always work on all people. If you prefer not to take drugs or other types of medication to handle pain, some of these options may help:
Peppermint leaves: Dried peppermint leaves placed around the tooth for 15 minutes at least 10 times per day can help reduce pain and brings the abscess up closer to the upper surface of the gums. You will need to keep the leaves in your mouth for at least 15-20 minutes before spitting them out to achieve results with this method.
Cucumber: Holding a thick slice of chilled cucumber around the teeth can help to soothe the gums and take away the pain. Use large pieces and wedge them into the mouth for at least 20-30 minutes so that the vitamins and minerals from the cucumber can seep into the gumline.
Ice: Sucking on ice cubes or holding an ice pack firmly against the gum line will help to numb the area and provide temporary relief from pain. Ice can also help reduce any throbbing or persistent pain you experience near your temples or forehead.
Garlic and salt: A popular folk remedy for treating toothache is a garlic and salt rub that is placed directly on the tooth. Cut a fresh clove of garlic into large pieces and top it with rock salt; then, chew the garlic and salt ‘pack’ for a few minutes. The garlic and salt act as an antiseptic and can also make the teeth stronger.
Clove oil: Using clove oil to treat tooth pain is an herbal remedy that can bring you instant relief. Apply the clove oil using a sterile cotton swab and let it settle into the gumline; the pain should disappear within a few seconds.
Acupressure: A Traditional Chinese Medicine method for relieving pain in the mouth is to press the webby area between the thumb and index figure. You will need to press or massage this area firmly for at least 10-20 seconds to release the body’s natural painkillers.
Gargling with salt water: Warm salt water acts as a tonic to flush away bacteria and help soothe the inflamed gum tissue. You can gargle with warm water a few times a day to provide some relief from tooth pain.
Gentle massage: Massaging the gums lightly can help increase blood circulation to the area and promote healing. However, too much pressure may trigger an inflammation response so avoid this technique if the gums are swollen or sore.
Black tea: Black tea has astringent properties that can help flush out the gum tissues and reduce swelling. Applying a warm black tea bag to the area may soothe the area and provide temporary pain relief.
Foods to Avoid When Experiencing Wisdom Tooth Pain
Certain types of food can irritate the gum area and increase the sensation of pain during wisdom tooth growth. Foods to avoid include:
Extremely hot foods – soups or stews that contain lots of herbs and spices may increase blood circulation to the mouth and amplify the pain
Spicy foods – chili peppers, chili powder and other spicy foods can also increase blood circulation to the mouth and cause excessive discomfort
Sweet foods – too much sugar can irritate the gums and make it difficult for the gums to heal. Eat bland and simple foods while the teeth are growing to protect this sensitive area
Ways to Stop the Pain After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed, you may experience significant pain and swelling around the tooth socket. The pain typically lasts for 10-14 days, but if the pain starts to get worse after the first few days, you may need to see the dentist to check for an infection.
You can stop the pain after wisdom tooth extraction with:
Over the counter painkillers - Motrin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol can provide temporary relief from throbbing pain and may help reduce swelling. Ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory drug that can help reduce swelling.
Prescription-strength painkillers – codeine, hydrocodone and oxycondon prescribed by your dentist or physician.
Natural remedies – clove oil, icing the area and gentle massage can help alleviate the discomfort after tooth extraction and numb out the inflamed gum tissues.
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