There are usually four wisdom teeth that grow through the gums at the back of the mouth, and they typically start to grow when the person is between ages 17 and 21. By this time, adult teeth have already developed and there is only little room left for wisdom teeth; hence, causing pain. Since it is a common problem that most of us suffer from, it is essential to learn what to do when wisdom teeth hurt.

Lack of space in the person’s mouth may cause wisdom teeth to grow abnormally or get stuck halfway through. When this happens, these are called impacted wisdom teeth. This can be a painful experience due to the feeling of teeth pushing its way through the gums, which is why most people prefer to have them removed. What is worst is that abnormal growth of wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems such as the development of pus, gum diseases, viral infections, and cysts.

What to Do When Wisdom Teeth Hurt?

The following are a few remedies to help you deal with the pain when wisdom teeth start to hurt:

1. Numbing Gel

One remedy is to use numbing dental gels, which are available in all pharmacies or online stores. They may help in dulling the pain as they have a numbing effect all thanks to a powerful ingredient called benzocaine.

Majority of numbing gels can be applied directly to the infected gums, and this can be left on throughout the day. However, one needs to make sure that they follow the instructions that come with the product, and also make sure that they are not allergic to benzocaine.

2. Ice Pack

Another option is to use an ice pack. Ice packs help in reducing the swelling and as a result, reduce the pain. Ice packs can also have a numbing effect which dulls the pain further.

What you need to do is wrap the ice pack in a towel and hold it against your jaw for around 15 minutes. This can be done repeatedly during the day in 15-minute intervals until the pain has lessened.

3. Cloves and Clove Oil

These are scientifically proven natural painkillers, and they also have a numbing effect. This remedy is not only effective but also easy to put to use as cloves are almost always available at homes.

You can use it in two ways to relieve pain. If you prefer to use a whole clove, it should be placed on the impacted gum while you close your jaw without chewing. It should be left there until the pain is relieved, and then you can spit it out.

The other way is to use clove oil. Put some clove oil on a small piece of cotton and place the cotton on top of the impacted gum and close your mouth. Keep it there until the pain is reduced and then remove it.

4. Tannins in Tea Bags

According to recent studies, tannins have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that they are effective remedies when trying to reduce swelling and infections.

The way to use this remedy is to make a cup of tea and place it in the fridge without removing the tea bag. Once the tea is sufficiently cold, the tea bag can be placed in the mouth on the affected gum.

Make sure not to add any milk, cream, or sugar to the tea. Using tea bags is one of the most convenient options as they are readily available at stores.

5. Ibuprofen

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen are an excellent option to control the pain until it is possible for the person to see a dentist and get it treated. Taking the correct dosage suggested on the packet will help to lessen gum inflammation due to the development of wisdom teeth.

6. Salt Water

Salt water is also good for impacted wisdom teeth management as it serves as an antiseptic. According to a study conducted in 2010, salt water helps to clear the mouth of bacteria.

In some cases, the cause of pain in wisdom teeth can be the accumulated bacteria around the broken gums. In such a situation, rinsing your mouth with salt water will clear bacteria and reduce the discomfort in your teeth.

Boil water and add one or two tablespoons of salt to it, and then wait for it to dissolve. When the water has cooled off a bit, rinse your mouth for a few seconds and spit it out. Do this two or three times every day until the pain is reduced.

7. Onions

Another surprising remedy that you can use when wisdom teeth start to hurt is onions. It is a scientifically proven fact that onions have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities. This means that onions can help in reducing swelling and clearing the mouth from bacteria.

Cut off a piece of onion and start chewing it from the side of the impacted gum. Continue this for a few minutes and then spit it out. This will enable onion juice to be absorbed in the gums and reduce swelling and infection.

How to Prevent Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

There are steps can be taken to reduce the risk of impacted wisdom teeth when they start to develop. The following are a few prevention techniques:

  • Brush teeth regularly: Infections can be prevented by brushing your teeth twice a day, and by using mouthwash and dental floss.
  • Take a break from sweets: Broken gums are vulnerable to sticky and sweet food, increasing the risk of bacteria to grow.
  • Drink a good amount of water: Drinking sufficient water prevents food and bacteria from being stuck to your gums.


Impacted wisdom teeth are a prevalent problem and can be easily cured. There are multiples remedies that one can use, like the ones described above. We hope that this article had helped you and will help you in case you’re confused about what to do when wisdom teeth hurt.

That said, even when you can use some natural and quick remedies to relieve pain, we recommend you to visit a dentist for a long-term solution. A dentist will usually advise the patient to get the impacted wisdom teeth extracted. This involves a small procedure, and either the dentist does a minor surgery or a dental surgeon in the hospital performs it. The procedure may take 20 minutes or more.

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