Dealing with growing wisdom teeth

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slapped cheek woman toothache pain face

You can help to prevent infection and soreness while your wisdom teeth are growing by using an anti bacterial mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine, such as Corsodyl.

How can I stop my wisdom teeth from hurting?

It's very common for wisdom teeth to hurt while they're coming through - which can be irritating and can make eating difficult.

One way to reduce swelling and soreness is to make a salt water mouthwash. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of medium hot water (make sure it's not too hot - burning your mouth won't help!) and swill it round your mouth - especially round the affected area. You can do this several times a day.

Pain-relieving tablets like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen can help too. See our article on your medicine cabinet to check which painkillers you can take together.

If discomfort and pain continues for more than a few days or you find it difficult to open your mouth, you should see your dentist.

When do they need to come out?

Wisdom teeth are taken out less often now then they used to be. Your dentist will only recommend you have them out if they're causing constant problems, such as:
  • If they're not coming through into a useful position,
  • They're causing you pain,
  • They're partly decayed because you haven't been able to clean them properly.

What happens when they're being taken out?

It all depends on the position of the tooth. Generally, the dentist will make a small cut in the gum above the tooth, and will possibly remove some jaw bone if it's covering the tooth.

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If the tooth is impacted it might be cut into small pieces to help with removal.

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