Central Brisbane Dental is open and following COVID-19 safety standards.

Central Brisbane Dental

Our Blog

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Home Remedies For A Painful Wisdom Tooth

Dr. Vincent Wan


Wisdom tooth pain can be very intense.  It may be a constant ache or only when you touch the area.  It may last for a few days and subside by itself and then come back again with a vengeance and repeat.  You may not be able to use or even open your mouth very well.  There could be a bad taste and smell from the area.

The best thing to do is to see the dentist to properly assess and treat the problem.  However, there are a few home remedies that can help a painful wisdom tooth as a short term measure until you can see a dentist:

  1. Pain Medication

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen will reduce pain and swelling.  This can be combined with codeine for stronger pain relief.  Talk to your pharmacy about which brands are available and how to correctly take the medication.  There are dosage limits which should not be exceeded and pain medication should not be taken for an extended period of time.

  1. Numbing Agent

Benzocaine based numbing gels and creams are available over-the-counter.  Applied to the tooth and gum, this can lessen the discomfort but generally is not strong enough to provide full relief.  You need to be careful with numbed soft tissues as you can easily bite your lip or cheek or hurt your gums if they are numb.

  1. Mouthwash

Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash will help reduce bacteria and keep the area cleaner.  This can provide relief if there is an infection around the gums of the wisdom teeth.  Mouthwash does sting and burn with its intensity so keep it to 2-3 times per day.  Remember you need to hold it in your mouth and gargle for 1 minute for it to work best.  You can also rinse with warm salt water.  Salt water is more gentle than mouthwash so you can do this as many times as you like.  It will help clean and draw out infection.

  1. Ice Pack

If your gum or cheek is swollen, placing an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the side of the face can help reduce inflammation.  Reducing inflammation may help limit swelling and pain and the cold may provide some numbing effect.  It is best to give the area a break from the ice pack regularly so keep placing the ice pack on and off say 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off and repeat.

  1. Oil of Cloves

Placing oil of cloves on the tooth and gum can provide pain relief and numb the area a little as it contains eugenol.  It is also antibacterial.  However, it does have an unpleasant taste and can make you sick if you swallow a lot of it.

  1. Onions and Teabags

If you have nothing else available but what is at home in the kitchen, you can try onions or teabags.  Chewing chopped up onion gently on the side of the mouth with the problem can reduce pain, swelling and bacteria, but is quite unpleasant in taste.  Placing a cold used teabag over the troublesome wisdom tooth can release tannins to the area which reduces inflammation and is antibacterial.