May 22, 2021

Wisdom teeth push through the gums around 18 – 20 years old. This normal eruption can happen without much awareness, or it can be quite painful. Your dentist will Xray the jaw and see if the teeth have room to erupt into the jaw. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Pain can come from the breakdown of healthy tissue around the tooth to allow it to push through the jaw bone and gum to erupt into the mouth. Numbing gel like baby teething gel can help numb the area, as well as paracetamol taken as required.

If the area is not kept clean with daily hygiene, bacteria can settle around the erupting tooth and inflame the gum even more. Sometimes the dentist will be able to remove some of the gum tissue, if it is flapping and preventing your toothbrush from cleaning effectively.

This is a simple procedure done under local anaesthetic to help the tooth emerge and stay clean.

To relieve inflammatory pain, use a fine tooth pick to pull forward any debris or plaque around the painful wisdom tooth. If the tooth pick goes under the gum, then allow it to lift out any trapped food or plaque. Dip the toothpick in mouthwash and repeat 3 times per day. Aim to keep the tooth smooth and shiny – not furry. The gum may bleed but that is OK. This will give some relief until you can see a dentist.

If there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth, or they are erupting sideways, it may be better to have them removed. Your dentist may do this procedure in the chair under local anaesthetic, or else refer you to an oral surgeon. We recommend the Drs Bilski and Dr Shannon Webber.