How to Relieve Wisdom Tooth Pain While Waiting For Surgery

So, you've seen your dentist about that toothache that won't go away, had an X-ray taken, and have been told that your wisdom teeth are causing the problem, so they need to be removed. What next? Unfortunately, complete relief won't come until those pesky molars are taken out, but while you are waiting for your surgical appointment, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.

Clove oil

Applying whole cloves or clove oil to teeth and gums is a time-honoured home remedy to cure toothache, and according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Dentistry, this old wives' tale may have some merit. The team of researchers conducting the study gave the gums of 73 adult test subjects a prick with a needle after applying a variety of substances, and found that clove oil was just as effective as topical anaesthetics in numbing the pain. When applying clove oil to your wisdom teeth, dentists recommend using a cotton swab, not your fingers, to avoid infection.

Benzocaine and topical anaesthetics

If you can't get your hands on clove oil, or you find it doesn't help, a range of topical anaesthetics, such as benzocaine, are available from most pharmacies. These are designed to be applied to the gums surrounding the sore wisdom tooth, and should numb the pain. Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging when applying this treatment, as the US Food and Drug Administration warns that over-applying topical anaesthetics can cause serious side-effects such as seizures.

Ibuprofen and paracetamol

Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen (Nurofen) and paracetamol (Panadol) can help reduce the throbbing sensation associated with wisdom tooth eruption. Take care to only use these treatments for a short period, in line with the maximum dose recommended on the packaging, except on the advice of your dentist or doctor. According to the Oral Health Foundation, painkillers should always be swallowed. Never place the tablet on the area causing discomfort, as this can make the pain worse.

Impacted (blocked) wisdom teeth can cause serious discomfort, and if you have been referred for surgery by your dentist, chances are that the pain will not go away until the teeth in question have been removed. By trying some of these remedies, you may find the pain more bearable while you wait for your surgery. However, if you notice the intensity of your pain increase markedly while you are waiting for your appointment, be sure to contact your dentist again for further advice.