What to Do When Wisdom Teeth Hurt

Jaw pain might be the first sign that your wisdom teeth hurt. The pressure from these teeth in the back of your mouth — also called your third molars — attempting to break through the gums can be painful, causing swelling and sensitivity. It’s usually safest to have wisdom teeth removed to avoid complications.

Dr. Shay Markovitch and his associates at White Plains Family Dentistry are passionate about dentistry. Our team of highly skilled dental specialists provide expert outpatient oral surgery, ensuring you’re calm and relaxed through the entire procedure at our White Plains, New York, office.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that form in the back of your mouth. They develop in your jawbone and eventually grow, breaking through your gums. Wisdom teeth are your final adult teeth to come in, although some people don’t have them.

These third molars usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25 but in some cases can erupt later in life. They serve no useful function, which is why wisdom tooth extraction is a healthy and standard procedure.

If your wisdom teeth have enough space, and if they grow in straight, you might not ever feel pain. However, if your wisdom teeth erupt and there isn’t enough room for them in your mouth, they typically cause intense pain, inflammation, and irritation. If this sounds like you, the best thing you can do is call the experts at White Plains Family Dentistry.

Wisdom tooth pain

If you’re experiencing mouth pain and can’t quite figure out why, it might be your wisdom teeth growing in. Here are some signs that your wisdom teeth are causing you trouble.

When your wisdom teeth hurt, it’s best to have them removed. The following are reasons you’re experiencing pain when it comes to your wisdom teeth.


Your wisdom teeth may partially erupt, where only the top of the tooth breaks through your gum. This is called partial impaction. Some wisdom teeth never break through the gums, causing full impaction. This can be extremely painful, especially when eating or talking.

Damage to other teeth

Wisdom teeth may cause your mouth to become crowded, pushing your other molars together and causing misalignment. If the third molars grow out of your gums, they may grow in crooked. Not only does this cause misalignment of all your other teeth, but it can also increase your risk of infection to that area.

Gum disease

If your wisdom teeth grow in crooked, pushing against your other teeth, you might be at risk for pericoronitis, an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding your erupted wisdom tooth. This can lead to gum disease, mouth pain, lockjaw, pus, bad breath, and pain when swallowing.

What to do when your wisdom teeth hurt

After calling White Plains Family Dentistry to make an appointment, here are some things you can do in the meantime to reduce mouth pain.

Warmth or cooling

You can apply either a heating pad or a towel-wrapped ice pack at your jaw to reduce inflammation and pain. The heat on your jaw increases blood flow, which can relieve painful tension. Apply for 15 minutes at a time, alternating the heat and cold. Always finish with a cold ice pack.


Taking aspirin can relieve discomfort as well as provide relief for any headaches your wisdom teeth might be causing. If your doctor allows you to take aspirin for pain, follow the recommended dosage on the label.

Salt water rinse

Wisdom teeth eruptions create a great environment for the growth of bacteria. One of the most effective ways to reduce bacteria in your mouth is a simple salt water rinse. If cysts have formed — something that can happen with impacted wisdom teeth — or inflammation is causing an overproduction in bacteria, salt water kills the harmful germs. This helps you maintain good oral health.

Do you think your wisdom teeth are causing you pain? Call White Plains Family Dentistry today at 914-246-0870, or use our convenient online scheduling tool. We provide compassionate and innovative care to every patient.

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