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What is wisdom tooth pain?

Often the pain is not so much related to the normal eruption process but caused by inflammation or even infection triggered by an impacted wisdom tooth.

Symptoms of wisdom tooth pain

  • A throbbing sensation of pain or discomfort especially when biting or chewing food. The pain can be mild but can also become severe.
  • Red, swollen gums around the last teeth in your jaws. The swelling can also extend to the cheeks
  • Difficulty when you try to open your mouth
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath which could indicate infection at the partially erupted site due to trapped food debris and the accumulation of bacteria

Speak to a dental professional today

Our dentists have all the experience, skill and technology required to diagnose and treat wisdom tooth pain. Arrange an appointment with our dental team at our central London dental clinic, situated on the prestigious Wimpole Street.

What causes wisdom tooth pain?

Initially the ache you may feel is the normal sensation of the wisdom tooth erupting. The pain intensifies when the eruption is only partially completed. Due to possible overcrowding in the mouth your four new wisdom teeth (two at the top and two at the bottom) may not be able to fully break through the gum flap, becoming trapped. If they do emerge, they may appear at a painful angle which contributes to trapped food debris. Ultimately this can result in pericoronitis, an infection which can become serious.

It is worth noting the often impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to the appearance of extensive tooth decay on the adjacent teeth. These can be extremely hard to restore, therefore prevention is essential in these cases.

How to treat wisdom tooth pain?

  1. Book an appointment for consulting with your dentist. A thorough examination usually includes a panoramic radiograph and a Cone Beam CT scan (CBCT)
  2. Extraction of the respective wisdom tooth may be considered, however it shouldn’t take place at the peak of the inflammation. A course of antibiotic and thorough rinses with salt water can be the first course of action.
  3. If the episode is recurrent, or if your dentist considers that the presence of the wisdom tooth is highly unfavourable, a minor dental surgery for wisdom teeth removal may be recommended.

Wisdom teeth removal

  • This procedure can usually be performed under a local anaesthetic.
  • Your dentist may move your tooth within its socket with some guided pressure to widen it or you may need an incision to the gum line to enable easier removal of the affected tooth. The affected tooth may be expertly cut into smaller pieces to assist extraction.
  • This procedure doesn’t last long, but you may experience some bruising or swelling post-surgery.
  • You may be offered pain medications for the first three days of your recovery as you begin to heal. Drug-free pain relief options can include the use of ice packs and saltwater rinses.
  • Within just two weeks, you should expect a full recovery.

Embrace young adulthood – but if wisdom teeth pain is causing you severe discomfort, call Wimpole Street Dental Clinic, today.

Prof Christian Mehl

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

A certified implantologist and prosthodontics specialist with 20+ years in dentistry, I conduct clinical research, teach at University of Kiel, and contribute to implant system development. Recipient of the Camlog Research Award, I frequently publish and deliver global lectures.

Clinically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

When did we last update this page?

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Current Version

July 21st 2023

  • Added “when did we last update this page” and author biography to the page.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

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October 2nd 2022

  • Page redesigned and updated to reflect change in address.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

30th August 2021

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Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

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