Wisdom Tooth Pain: Symptoms, Treatment and Relief

Wisdom teeth are located at the very back of your mouth and usually people have four wisdom teeth in total – two on the top jaw and two on the bottom. They don’t begin to form until the age of seven and, unlike other adult teeth which form and grow during your childhood, wisdom teeth typically emerge at the age of 18 and usually no later than the age of 30.

They help us chew rough and hard foods, but as our diets have changed so much during the past years, it isn’t absolutely necessary for you to keep your wisdom teeth, especially if they are causing issues. We already have two sets of molars that already help us chew tough food.

Issues with wisdom teeth arise when there isn’t enough space in your jaw for the tooth to fully grow or the tooth is stuck in the wrong position and is impacted by another tooth. This is quite common and is the main reason why pain and discomfort occur when wisdom teeth erupt.

It may be that you don’t have to remove your wisdom teeth! Sometimes the pain is just normal from eruption but sometimes it could be a sign of a bigger issue.

Issues due to impacted wisdom teeth

When a wisdom tooth can’t fully emerge to the surface and has only partially erupted or remains hidden in the gums, it is referred to as an impacted wisdom tooth.

These teeth will most likely affect the surrounding teeth in your mouth as well and cause problems. A tooth that has emerged at the wrong angle can directly impact the health of other teeth and will push them out of place. They could cause overcrowding and over time this will affect your entire jawline.

Impacted wisdom teeth could also cause the tooth next to the impacted wisdom tooth to become vulnerable to problems like tooth decay or infection. It is crucial that you seek dental advice if you have any tooth ache at all, as this type of instance could mean it’s not only just the one tooth that’s in trouble.

Your dentist will recommend having the wisdom tooth pulled even if it isn’t causing issues. This is because decay is likely to set in in these hard-to-reach spots created by the odd positioning of the new wisdom tooth.

Your dentist is likely to request information on whether you have had your wisdom teeth out as an adult. If you haven’t, it’s regular practice to take a full mouth x-ray to check the status of your wisdom teeth

Wisdom tooth may bring about a range of complications as they grow and if left untreated.

When they grow, they can cause problems such as:

  • Soreness in your jaw or swollen gums
  • Pain in sinuses
  • Pain or discomfort while chewing food  

If left untreated they could cause further complications like:

  • Chronic pain
  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Recurring infections
  • Cysts and tumours and even
  • Gum disease

Self-treating wisdom tooth pain

Wisdom tooth pain is inevitable for most people and the level of pain you experience will vary depending on your individual scenario. If you are suffering from any pain at all, it’s vital that you visit your dentist for an examination.

We have a few at-home treatments you can make use of while you wait for your new wisdom teeth to settle in or while you wait for your next dentist visit to have your wisdom teeth extracted:

1. Over-the-counter medication for pain
2. Rinse with saltwater solution
3. Applying a cold compress

Wisdom teeth extraction procedure

During your initial visit to the dentist, they will request for you to take a full mouth x-ray, also known as an OPG, to view all your wisdom teeth and surrounding areas accurately before giving advice.

There are several possible options your dentist could suggest to you depending on your individual case.

To learn more about the full wisdom tooth removal procedures available, see below.


Watch Dr. Andrew’s video where he answers your questions about wisdom teeth below.

To learn more about aftercare once you have had your wisdom tooth (or teeth) extracted and more information in detail regarding treatment options, click on the link below to read the full article.

How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Take to Heal?

Are you thinking of having your wisdom tooth pulled out? Most of us have this notion stuck in our head that it is going to be an agonizing ordeal, and that the recovery too would be slow and inconvenient. Luckily, the reality is quite different. In a lot of cases, there will hardly be any pain at all – at most mild discomfort – and the recuperation time only lasts a few days! If you have your wisdom tooth pulled out on a Friday, you could be back at work or back in Uni by Monday.

Let us take a closer look at wisdom teeth and what you can anticipate after they have been extracted.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Wisdom teeth are positioned right at the back of your jaw, one for each corner of the mouth, and are the last set of back molars to emerge. This type of teeth has been known to cause some issues. If they do not have adequate space to fit in your mouth they could press up against the other teeth as they grow and throw the correctly positioned teeth out of whack. If your wisdom teeth end up moving your other teeth and jawline out of alignment, it could cause tooth decay due to bacteria traps, discomfort while performing regular activities such as brushing your teeth or chewing food etc., Overlooking the warning signs can cause greater trouble in the future. You may end up losing not only your wisdom tooth but also the molar next to it!

The wisdom tooth removal procedure

Firstly, there will be an initial consult, which consists of your dentist’s initial inspection of the problem tooth and taking x-rays. These will then help determine the time needed for the removal of the tooth and how long the recuperation time will roughly be, depending on your individual case.

For instance, if the wisdom tooth has erupted without impacting any other tooth and has not come through at an angle, the extraction would only take a few minutes to complete. The procedure could take longer however, if the tooth is infected, is sitting at an angle and is impacted, or if the gum tissue needs to be cut away.

We usually prefer you to stay sitting in the chair for 5-10 minutes after the tooth is removed, to ensure that clotting has taken effect, the bleeding has stopped and you’re feeling okay.

The maximum time we would expect anyone to be in the chair for if we are extracting all four wisdom teeth, is 90 minutes. This is inclusive of consent, numbing, the procedure and the initial recovery time. Simpler extraction with fewer teeth to be extracted would be quicker.

Simple wisdom tooth extractions, that only take a short period of time in the chair, normally include some of the following:

  • Tooth has erupted
  • It is not affecting any other teeth
  • Has come through at a normal angle without impacting other teeth

The more complicated procedures, that would take longer include:

  • Wisdom teeth that have become infected
  • Wisdom teeth that have positioned themselves at an angle
  • Wisdom teeth that are impacted
  • If the gum tissue needs to be cut away for the extraction

How long does pain after wisdom tooth extraction last and how long is recovery?

The answer can be frustrating, but it depends on a variety of scenarios.

  1. The tooth has erupted without being angled and there is no impaction. The removal for this case should be very quick ad there is often little to no pain following the procedure. Some patients do not even need pain killers and are able to go back to work the very next day.
  2. A more complex case, perhaps involving cutting into gum tissue, will lead to more swelling and mild discomfort. This will require for you to take time off work and rest for a couple of days before going back in.
  3. A crooked wisdom tooth will need more time for extraction and a longer recovery time. Regular painkillers should be able to help you handle the mild discomfort following such a procedure. You would have to take several days off work, but if you can avoid meetings and too much talking, then you could return earlier.
  4. We will refer you to a surgeon who will extract your wisdom tooth at a hospital if general anaesthetic is required. Generally, these procedures take longer to heal from and results in quite a bit more swelling. Your surgeon will advise you and provide an accurate picture of your recovery time depending on your case.

Most people are concerned about how long it takes to heal from a wisdom tooth extraction because they need to fit it in around other commitments like university or work. If this is you, we strongly recommend that you do not delay the process and come to us before your tooth starts hurting. Once you have reached this stage, we refer to it as an emergency extraction, and you will not be able to schedule it around your other plans.

Post procedure care

What to avoid after wisdom teeth removal

  • Don’t Smoke
  • Don’t Drink alcohol 
  • Don’t do any strenuous exercise 

How to aid the healing process

  • Keep medications and plenty of water to drink within your reach
  • Rest well
  • Apply ice-packs to help with soreness and swelling
  • Rinse your mouth gently with salty, lukewarm water

Chat to the friendly team at Polished Dental

We can only give you a clearer idea of how long it is going to take for you to heal from the wisdom tooth removal once we examine you and take some x-rays. Once we have a good idea of the condition of your teeth, we will plan the procedure around any other commitments you have. Our only request is that you do not delay the process until it is too late – if you wait until the pain sets in, we cannot promise to work around your other plans. Give our friendly team a call now to discuss your options.

Do You Have to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out?

At times you may feel like your wisdom teeth exist simply to cause you pain and grief. A wisdom tooth, or ‘Molars’, are a late erupting tooth which may require for you to undergo either a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. We know it can be nerve-wrecking, especially for anxious patients. Count on our experienced staff to get you through this ordeal, we are here to help answer all your questions and concerns regarding your wisdom tooth extraction. We will recommend an extraction only when it is absolutely needed and cannot be avoided. Here are some reasons as to why an extraction may be required.

Why problems can arise with wisdom teeth

Don’t procrastinate with your wisdom teeth removal. A dental mistake most patients make is putting off their wisdom tooth’s extraction until it starts to affect the rest of your teeth. This will inevitably result in a more expensive fix and not to mention could result in you having to endure unnecessary pain which could have been avoided easily by scheduling in a timely extraction of the problem tooth. Between the ages of 17 and 25, wisdom teeth are said to develop at the back of your mouth, behind all the other teeth.

One should erupt at every corner of the mouth and these will be the last ‘Molars’ to develop. Often your jaw has fully developed by the age of 18 and so you may face numerous issues due to your wisdom teeth not having enough space to grow.

Bacteria traps

When your wisdom teeth come through at an odd angle, because it simply doesn’t have enough space to develop right at the back of your jaw, and gets stuck below the surface of the gum, we call this an ‘impacted’ tooth. Ignoring this issue is not so wise. Wisdom teeth extraction can prevent your teeth from rotting due to bacteria traps that are most likely to crop up when you have an impacted or partially impacted tooth.

Because your wisdom teeth grow in a position that is quite challenging to reach with your toothbrush, bacteria would inevitably get trapped and build up around this site causing tooth decay. Extraction in this case is absolutely necessary since the bacteria build up and decay would lead to an infection in your mouth that could spread to even your healthy teeth. To avoid such complications, make sure your wisdom teeth have been looked at by a professional dentist.

Crooked teeth

Due to the lack of space for wisdom teeth, in your jaw, they can often come through at unusual angles, pressing up against their neighbours and causing misalignment, overcrowding and, eventually, causing tooth sensitivity, pain and discomfort. With the help of x-rays, we can now tell from an early stage the route your wisdom teeth are taking. If it seems like their path will cause issues, it is always sensible to have them removed before they start causing your other teeth to go out of whack.

We also recommend having them removed before any orthodontic work. Braces are used to adjust crooked and crowded teeth and basically spread them out more evenly. At the end of the process, there is typically less room in the mouth for wisdom teeth than there was before. If we do not get rid of the wisdom teeth at this stage, it is likely their growth will undo all the good orthodontic work.


As mentioned before, we recommend to have your wisdom teeth extracted prior to you undergoing any orthodontic treatment. It’s possible that if they erupt later on, they may undo the work of your braces.

What can happen if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed?

If nothing is amiss with your wisdom teeth, then you can keep them for life without an issue. However, if problems such as dental pain, infection, tooth overcrowding arise and you do not have them attended to, you may end up losing more than just your wisdom teeth.

If one tooth becomes infected, other teeth around it can also suffer damaging consequences. Losing a wisdom tooth is not a big deal; we do not ‘need’ them. But if they are deteriorating and have been left untreated, you could end up losing more useful teeth around them.

Poor oral hygiene can be the root of many complications later in life. It is important that we do our best to keep the teeth we have from an early age.

When teeth become overcrowded and misaligned due to not having enough space to fit your wisdom teeth in, it is much harder to adequately clean between them as they are jammed against one another. This leads to the build-up of bacteria, leading to infection and could even result in you having to lose good and healthy teeth that were once completely strong and fine, but have deteriorated due to the decay that has set in around your impacted wisdom teeth.

So, do you have to get your wisdom teeth extracted? If you are worried about the impact your wisdom teeth might have, book an appointment with our friendly team now.

Interesting Facts About Wisdom Teeth

Dr. Sang from Polished Dental has written a great article about five wisdom teeth facts – things you need to know about your wisdom teeth. When do they erupt? Do you always need to remove wisdom teeth? Let’s take a look.

5 Wisdom Teeth Facts – Polished Dental

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash
Wisdom Teeth Facts – Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

1. When can I expect my wisdom teeth?

Your wisdom teeth will usually erupt from ~17-23. Of course there are exemptions and we have had patients as young as 14 and as late as 39, so feel free to book in with the team if you have any questions about this or are concerned. You’ll know when the wisdom teeth are coming via soreness (and sometimes swelling) in the gums behind your last teeth.

2. What do I do when my wisdom teeth erupt?

Book in for an examination, where your clinic will do a visual examination and take some x-rays (sometimes you’ll be referred somewhere for a whole mouth x-ray). We need to have a look how close to the nerve your wisdom teeth are and see how many roots there are, and if they have an angle or kink.

3. What’s usually done about wisdom teeth?

There are a few options. They don’t always have to be removed!

– If erupting, there is enough space for them and you can keep them clean enough – we recommend keeping the teeth to chew with. We strongly encourage you come back for routine checkups 
-If they’re unerupted we have a similar situation – sometimes they’re okay to leave there but you’ll need to ensure regular checkups to make sure everything’s okay!
-Sometimes wisdom teeth need to be removed so you’re safer in the long term.

4. How do we remove the wisdom teeth?

This depends on factors which can complicate the process:

  • Difficult access
  • Difficult tooth anatomy
  • Surrounding nerves and sinuses causing difficult anatomy.
  • Hard or older bone around wisdom teeth

This can be done under general anaesthetic at a hospital for day surgery – generally for difficult patients or anxious patients.

Most wisdom teeth extractions occur at an everyday dental clinic just like Polished Dental – we will guide you as to which type is right for you.

At the clinic, it’s a simple process as we plan thoroughly for your extraction – we use local anaesthetic so you don’t feel any pain (sometimes a light sensation).

If you haven’t been sedated for the procedure (most people aren’t) you will be able to drive home. We do recommend to have someone with you if possible. 

5. What do I do after?

The first two to three days will generally result in some discomfort and swelling for 2-3 days afterwards. Some much milder discomfort can continue for 2-3 weeks – most people are back at work after a day or two. We recommend a soft diet in the first 2-3 days (e.g. scrambled eggs, custard). Warm salt water rinses also help keep the site clean.

Paracetamol (Panadol) or ibuprofen (Nurofen) can be used as pain relief. We will tailor an individual plan for patients to ensure know how best look after the healing area for them.

If you’d like to book an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental then please click here

What Are Wisdom Teeth and Do They Need To Be Extracted?

Having an issue with your wisdom teeth or wondering if you’ll need to get them out?

What are wisdom teeth in the first place? Have a read of this article and learn more.

What Are Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth typically erupt in late teens or early twenties.

Normally there are four wisdom teeth, one is each side and jaw of your mouth.

Wisdom teeth do not always need to be taken out – the main reason why they do however need to be taken out for certain people include;

  • There just isn’t enough space and they’re too hard to clean leading to decay of the wisdom teeth or its surrounding teeth.
  • The teeth have only half erupted and are staying like that or keeping moving in and out of the gum. Many times this scenario will lead to infection of the gum around the half erupted teeth.
  • The teeth are pushing on other teeth and are leading to crowding – especially in patient who have complete braces or orthodontic treatment.

For patients who are suffering from one or more of the above – we may recommend that your wisdom teeth be removed.

This usually occurs when patients are younger as that’s when the teeth start to erupt and also because generally healing and recovery is better when young.

We recognise that many patients will need to have their wisdoms out and have worked hard to provide a safe and affordable means of wisdom teeth removal.

Our dental surgeons can remove these teeth under local anaesthesia for a fraction of the cost of removal under general anaesthesia.

We also offer interest free payment plans.

If you’ve got a recent copy of your x-ray and are happy to come in to the practice – we’re more than happy to give you a second opinion!

Please do not hesitate to give the team a call or contact us to ask any questions about your teeth or the Polished Dental process – we’re only too happy to help!