Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the very back of your mouth. Somewhere between the age of 17 and 25, these teeth begin to move up through your jawbone on their journey to break through your gum line and become part of your chewing mechanism.
Your gums may become inflamed, the affected area may bleed, and you may experience ongoing headaches or tooth pain. Here are nine remedies to help you find relief from wisdom teeth pain.
Remedies for pain relief
1. Salt water rinse
One of the most popular remedies for toothache is a salt water rinse. Rinsing your gums with warm water and dissolved sodium chloride (salt) has been shown to promote healthy gums and kill harmful bacteria. Wisdom teeth can sometimes hurt your other teeth or create cysts when they erupt through your gums. So keeping your mouth clear of harmful bacteria is a good idea.
Peppermint leaves contain essential oils that can soothe pain and reduce inflammation. Try soaking a cotton ball in peppermint extract before applying it to painful gums, or rubbing the oil directly on your teeth. Peppermint tea can also be used as a mouth rinse after it has cooled down.
3. Clove oil
Cloves have been documented as an analgesic and toothache reliever. Lab studies reveal that clove oil is especially potent at reducing pain. Cloves have the added benefit of fighting bacteria that can grow in your mouth and put you at risk for infection. You can purchase clove essential oil, or simply boil four to six whole cloves to make clove water, which you can then massage onto your painful gums.
Bourbon, brandy, and whiskey are pain relievers because of the numbing qualities of distilled liquor. Rubbing whiskey or another strong liquor onto your wisdom teeth as they erupt to the surface of your gum might help dull pain receptors, easing your discomfort.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is generally nontoxic and can be used to soothe and reduce inflammation around the area your wisdom teeth are trying to grow in. It also helps to heal your gums if they become scratched or cut while your teeth grow in. You can apply pure aloe vera gel to the back of your mouth, and it will cool the area down for temporary pain relief.
5. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial agent proven to kill bacteria in your mouth. But this remedy is so potent, it should never be applied directly to your teeth. Diluting tea tree oil with coconut oil, another antibacterial, and applying it to your inflamed gums could kill bacteria on your gum line. Tea tree oil shouldn’t be swallowed, so make sure you rinse and spit out any residue immediately after this treatment.
6. Crushed garlic and ginger
Crushed garlic was found to be one of the most effective killers of pathogens that invade and infect the gum line. Researchers were surprised when combining garlic with crushed ginger into a paste made garlic even more effective. You can crush raw garlic into a paste-like consistency before adding fresh, chopped ginger and applying the paste to your gums.
The aspirin that you take to relieve severe headaches may also help relieve your wisdom teeth pain. A recent study showed that aspirin is an effective pain-dulling agent for people experiencing discomfort in their mouth. Pay close attention to the label and don’t take more than the recommended dose of any kind of aspirin. Don’t pop aspirin continually for any sort of pain relief without supervision from a dentist or doctor.
Menthol is a natural analgesic, and brings a cooling sensation to your skin when you touch it. If you want to use menthol as a remedy for your wisdom teeth pain, dilute a mouthwash that contains alcohol, peppermint flavor, and menthol before applying it directly to the affected area.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as a spice and as a natural remedy for stomach pain. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric give it tremendous potential as a toothache remedy. One source recommends rubbing crushed turmeric directly on inflamed gums, or rinsing your mouth with water that’s been boiled with 5 grams of turmeric and two cloves.
10. Cold and heat therapy
Applying an ice pack or heating pad to your cheeks can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. Applying heat can promote healing by relieving tension and increasing blood flow.
Apply heat or cold to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time and then wait 15 minutes before reapplying. Alternate these methods throughout the day. Always finish with a cold treatment.
Wheatgrass is a powerful healer and can be used to treat wisdom teeth pain. The high chlorophyll content of wheatgrass helps to reduce inflammation and prevent the bacteria that can cause infections. It can prevent tooth decay and heal wounds.
12. Oregano oil
Oregano oil is a powerful healer that can kill bacteria and prevent infection. It can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. A 1996 study on mice suggested that its pain-relieving components are due to one of its active ingredients, carvacrol.
Oregano oil is extremely potent and must always be properly diluted. Dilute a drop of oregano oil into 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil. Use a cotton ball or your finger to apply the oil to your tooth or gums. Do this twice per day.
13. Thyme essential oil
Thyme is used as a traditional medicine to relieve the pain, inflammation, and fever that may accompany emerging wisdom teeth. A 2015 study on mice supported the use of thyme extract in treating these symptoms. Further studies on humans are warranted.
Dilute a few drops of thyme essential oil into a carrier oil. Use a cotton ball or your fingers to apply it to your teeth and gums. Do this a few times a day. You can make a mouthwash by adding one drop of oil to a glass of warm water.
The active ingredient in cayenne pepper, capsaicin, is said to relieve pain and inflammation. A 2012 review reported that capsaicin can be useful in treating various types of pain in both animals and humans. It sometimes has a desensitizing effect on nerve fibers.
Capsaicin has the potential to irritate, so you should always start with a small amount to see how your body reacts.
Dilute a few drops of pure capsaicin extract or oil into a cup of water. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected area or use it as a mouthwash. Repeat throughout the day.
15. Lavender essential oil
This is a powerful healer that can relieve pain, reduce bacteria, and soothe inflammation. A 2015 study on animals confirmed the effectiveness of lavender essential oil to relieve pain and inflammation. Further studies are warranted to discover more about its therapeutic ability.
Dilute one drop of lavender oil into 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil. Use your fingers or a cotton ball to apply it to the affected area several times throughout the day. Or add two drops of lavender oil to a cup of warm water to make a mouthwash. Use this solution three times per day. Or use cooled lavender tea to make a mouthwash.
Wisdom teeth can take up to three months to fully emerge from your gum line. But not all wisdom teeth come in at once, so you may experience some of these symptoms on and off in varying degrees for some time.
If you have sharp pain that persists, frequent headaches, bloody saliva, or feel an abscess growing underneath your gums, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. Though not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, the American Dental Association recommends that all teenagers and young adults have their wisdom teeth X-rayed and monitored.