Wisdom teeth; a mocking name given to uninvited guests in your mouth that usually give you pain and discomfort and leave you feeling anything but wise.
Wisdom teeth are actually the third set of molars that form at the back of the mouth. They usually start appearing between the ages of 17 and 25 years of age. If space in the mouth is limited or the direction of growth of the tooth is crooked, gums can become inflamed, you can also get tooth pain, headaches, bleeding, and infection. This obviously can leave you in quite a lot of pain and discomfort.
When these “wisdom” teeth start to rear their ugly heads the usual call to action is to go straight to the local dentist to have them removed. However, instant removal is not always possible, nor is finding the spare time to spend in the dentist chair.
You’ll be happy to know however, you don’t need to just suck it up and get on with it. This pain and discomfort can be relieved at home using things you may already have laying around in your cupboards.
We have brought together six natural and simple remedies to help you alleviate and manage the pain when your wisdom teeth decide its time to say ‘g’day’.
Clove oil can be your best friend when it comes to managing tooth pain because it helps in two important ways. First, due to its anesthetic properties, it can numb the pain. Secondly, it fights off infection due to its powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Place a few drops onto a cotton pad and place over the infected or painful area. Hold in place until the pain subsides. If you find the oil is too strong, just mix it with a small amount of olive oil to dilute the pungency.
Garlic & Ginger
Just like garlic and ginger can help you to fight a cold due to its effectiveness at killing pathogens, it can do the same by attacking the pathogens that invade the gum line.
Crush a clove of garlic with 1cm of ginger until you make a paste. Then put the paste over the infected area.
Onions are known to be anti-inflammatory. They contain high amounts of phytochemicals that fight the germs that cause infection and swelling.
This remedy is not for the faint-hearted however since you need to chew on a piece of onion. By chewing the onion on the side of the mouth causing pain you will allow the juices to surround the painful area giving you pain relief. If your gums are too sore to chew, then gently hold the onion over the troubled area. Remember the more pungent the better in this case, so try to choose red or yellow onions for optimal effect.
If swollen gums around the affected area are more the problem then tea can really help since the tannic acid found in it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Brew a cup of black tea, put it in the fridge with the tea bag left in until it cools right down. Once cold, place the tea bag over the inflamed section of your gums, hold in place until you feel swelling reducing or pain dissipating.
Turmeric is another fantastic anti-inflammatory food due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities. Simply rub a piece of turmeric on the inflamed gum line. Alternatively, you can make a mouth rinse by boiling 5mg of turmeric with two cloves, wait for it to cool then swish the rinse in your mouth multiple times throughout the day.
If swelling is the main problem then applying an ice pack to your cheeks can help to reduce the pain caused by swelling and inflammation.
Apply a commercial icepack to your cheek for 15 minutes increments throughout the day. Make sure you leave at least 15 minutes between reapplying the ice pack.
While the methods mentioned above can help to manage the pain and stop an infection, your best port of call is to see your local dentist. While extraction is not always necessary, having a professional look at and monitor the way your tooth is growing can help to avoid any complications in the future, such as disruption to the rest of your teeth, as well as prevent infection.