Symptoms of wisdom tooth pain & whether you need an extraction



Wisdom tooth pain



What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth (also called third molars) grow at the back of your gums.  Most people have four —one in each corner of the mouth—and they typically emerge during our late teens or early twenties.  Sometimes you’ll need a special wisdom teeth removal procedure from your dentist if you’re experiencing wisdom tooth pain – and here’s why.



When the wisdom teeth come through or ‘erupt’ the mouth is usually full of adult teeth and there isn’t always enough room for four new teeth. Because of this, wisdom teeth often surface at awkward angles, or only partially emerge due to overcrowding.  Teeth that grow abnormally are known as impacted and it’s these impacted teeth that can give you pain and problems.  Surgical extraction is something your dentist or oral surgeon can do to fix the problem.  Read on for more or scroll down for our video outlining the procedure in detail.



If you have painful wisdom teeth and need an emergency dental appointment visit our emergency dentist page here:  Emergency Dentist Liverpool. If you have uncontrolled bleeding or severe pain following a wisdom tooth extraction procedure then you can get help by calling NHS 111.



Here at Smileworks we have a specialist oral surgeon, Dr Anca Antoniu DMD, PGCert who will perform complex extractions and oral surgery.  She has a wealth of experience working in hospitals and private practice and can effortlessly handle even the most difficult impacted wisdom tooth cases.  Her patients love her and constantly amaze us by saying how much they enjoy having their teeth extracted?  Don’t believe us?  Take a look at some of her amazing extraction reviews!


Tooth Extraction review (5 stars)


Wisdom tooth extraction five star review


John Bowden oral surgery five star testimonial



Wisdom Tooth Pain Symptoms

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause complications as the condition worsens, such as damage and realignment of the surrounding teeth, gum disease, and cysts.  You should make an appointment to see your dentist if you’re experiencing severe discomfort from your wisdom teeth.



Common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are throbbing pain in the back of the mouth, swollen or bleeding gums, swelling around the jaw, swollen glands in the shoulder or neck, and headaches.  These symptoms can often be mistaken for Gum Disease.  If you think you might have gum disease take a look at our main gum disease treatment page here.



The best Pain Relief

A simple home remedy for the pain is gargling with salt. This naturally antiseptic compound helps reduce inflammation in the gums, and even has the potential to fight infection.  However, if pain and oral distress persists, you may need to consider an extraction or removal of the teeth.  An experienced dentist will be able to remove your wisdom teeth with no problems thereby preventing inflammation and infection, overcrowding, damage to nearby teeth and cysts. Extracting impacted teeth can improve your dental hygiene significantly and lower the chance of wisdom tooth infection.


Wisdom teeth removal procedure video



What Does it cost?

The cost of an extraction depends on the treatment required—unless you’re under 18 or exempt from NHS charges, in which case, it may be free if you visit your NHS dentist.  Smileworks are not an NHS dentists so you cannot have your teeth taken out here for free unfortunately.  Typically, the cost of private wisdom teeth removal can start from £100 per tooth.  Most associated costs are dependent upon the severity of the case.  Here at Smileworks your emergency dental appointment will cost £50 to be seen and then your extraction will be £100 additionally.


To see all our smileworks prices follow the link to Dental Prices.



What are the alternatives to wisdom tooth extraction?

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. If they’re not causing pain or discomfort, there may not be an urgent reason to extract them.  Carefully cleaning your teeth can ease the symptoms of impacted teeth, such as soreness and swelling of the gums. Your dentist may offer antibiotics if your teeth become infected.



Wisdom tooth pain can come and go over months or even years and varies significantly in intensity from patient to patient and at different times.  What is clear, however, is that the problem rarely goes away and you may need to have them extracted if you are experiencing recurring or chronic pain in your teeth.



If you just have toothache and it’s not a wisdom tooth then you might need a root canal.  You can read about this treatment here: Root Canal Liverpool.



Tooth extraction at Smileworks

Before the procedure, you will be administered a local anaesthetic injection to numb the area around the tooth. The dentist or oral surgeon will then widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth, in preparation for its removal.  Here at Smileworks we have the most advanced and talented dentists and oral surgeons in Liverpool so you are in the safest of hands.


Wisdom tooth infection and extraction


Sometimes when extracting teeth it’s best to wait a few minutes after wiggling them loose.  This causes the tissue and fluids to build up around the tooth and gently push it out of the socket.  This technique is extremely gentle and also requires a highly experienced surgeon.



The days of pulling and pulling and yanking at your teeth are over and now a good dentist will use their skills to ease the tooth out of the socket in a comfortable and pain free way.  During these three or four minutes we can play your favourite song on iTunes and Smileworks dentists have been known to pass these few minutes doing a little dance for our patients in their fancy custom fit uniforms.



In some cases, a cut may be needed in your gum, and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces in order to be extracted. Some procedures take only a few minutes, while others can exceed 20 minutes.  But however long it takes, you can be sure that you are in the safest of hands and that your dentists absolutely have everything under their control.



Will I need a scan?

Here at Smileworks we’re lucky enough to have a 3D CBCT scanner that can be used to identify precisely where your impacted teeth are and more importantly, where the bone, vessels and nerves are before the extraction.  We never go in blind and will have an extremely accurate picture of things before the procedure if it is suspected that there may be complications that need to be considered beforehand.



Aftercare Advice

Proceeding your extraction, you may experience swelling and discomfort. A stiff, sore jaw, tingling or numbness in the face, lips or tongue, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth are also common side effects.  To reduce pain and hasten recovery, use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, and avoid strenuous activity. It can also be helpful to:


  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Eat soft food and chew with other teeth
  • Gently rinse the extraction site with antiseptic mouthwash after 24 hours, and repeat regularly over next few days


Recovery time

The typical recovery period is 3-4 days.  Most people don’t experience problems after the procedure.  However, you should contact your dentist or speak to the NHS direct on 111 immediately if you experience any of the following:


  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop after applying pressure, or that lasts for more than an hour or two
  • Severe pain or swelling that does not improve
  • A high temperature, which may indicate an infection


Best foods to eat

If you undergo wisdom tooth extraction, or are experiencing wisdom tooth pain, knowing what to eat after treatment can lead to a smoother recovery or cause you less pain and discomfort.  Some great foods to eat during this period include:

  • Apple sauce
  • Soup
  • Jelly
  • Mash potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Instant oatmeal


For more information on our emergency dental procedures such as wisdom teeth removal and surgical extractions follow the link here to our emergency dentist page.  Or call 0151 236 5166 to speak to someone at the practice.

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