Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, emerge in the back part of the mouth. Since the teeth usually have limited to no room for breaking through the gum at a safe angle, they can lead to different dental issues. Are my wisdom teeth making jaw hurt?
Well, jaw pain is one of the problems associated with troubling third molars. This post covers the wisdom teeth jaw pain causes, signs and symptoms, relief and treatment options, and more. Read on to find out.
What helps jaw pain from wisdom teeth?
There’s a good number of pain-relieving remedies for mild wisdom teeth jaw pain. If it’s a case of severe discomfort, it’s always best to see a dentist to administer the appropriate treatment.
While minor discomfort can go away on its own, you can try the following pain management tips:
- Take OTC pain relief medications: For instance, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen can help control inflammation and pain experienced during wisdom teeth development.
- Apply an ice pack: Place it directly on the affected jaw for approximately 15 minutes to create a numbing effect while reducing inflammation. Be sure to repeat the procedure a few times until you find relief.
- Salt water: When the wisdom teeth jaw pain is associated with broken gum and bacteria build-up, you can rinse your mouth with salt water. Salt is good for combating bacteria because it has disinfectant properties.
- Clove oil: It contains antibacterial properties. Clove also creates a numbing effect, thus helping ease the pain. You just dampen a cotton wool ball with a few drops and then place the ball on the affected teeth.
Please note these home remedies are not by any means a substitute for professional treatment.
Why do wisdom teeth cause jaw pain?
Not all wisdom teeth make your jaw hurt. The pain usually develops when the teeth are incorrectly positioned and unhealthy. In line with that, here are the main reasons why your wisdom teeth are causing pain.
- Wisdom teeth are erupted partially
- When only a part of the tooth comes through the gum, there’s the risk of tissue flaps developing over the tooth. This condition alone can be a source of jaw pain, as gums will eventually begin swelling.
- The soft tissues around the wisdom tooth also become susceptible to infections because the flaps trap food and encourage bacteria to build up.
- Wisdom teeth are impacted
- In some cases, wisdom teeth get stuck below the gum surface.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can cause dental complications, which lead to jaw pain. For example, cysts (fluid-filled sacs) may form and damage bone support or roots of other teeth.
- The teeth can also grow at awkward angles. As such, they may force the adjacent teeth to shift from normal positions.
- As the teeth become crowded, the pressure on each other increases. Patients will experience discomfort and pain that spreads back to the jaw.
How do I know if my wisdom tooth is infected?
Several signs and symptoms may point to a wisdom teeth infection. They include:
- Pain at the back of the mouth
- Pain in the jaw
- Bad breathe
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Red or swollen gums around the teeth
- Swollen side of the face
- Difficulty chewing or opening mouth
- Swollen lymph glands
Is an infected wisdom tooth an emergency?
A wisdom tooth is considered a case of emergency when it’s causing pain and discomfort to the patient. From the signs and symptoms mentioned above, an infection certainly requires a dentist’s attention as soon as possible.
However, it is generally advisable to go for a check-up even if your third molars haven’t started causing any issues. The doctor will evaluate the position of the teeth and the shape of your mouth to rule out potential complications in the future.
You can’t prevent wisdom teeth from growing, but you can avoid painful experiences and costly emergencies by keeping regular dental appointments. Many wisdom teeth do not have enough space to grow properly. They can cause repeated inflamed gums, infections, jaw damage, alignment, and sinus issues if not treated in time.
In the case of wisdom teeth making jaw hurt, your dentist will probably need to remove the infected teeth to prevent the problem from worsening or affecting other parts of your body.