Wisdom Tooth Extraction Pain
June 30, 2021 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Hi mefites, I had a lower wisdom tooth extracted six weeks ago, and the wound has still not healed. I've seen the dentist weekly and he said this can happen sometimes so he isn't worried, he took new x-rays and checks it each week. For the pain question, the hole where the tooth was is sometimes tender, but I am getting sharp pains in my jaw/cheekbone meeting point quite frequently. What has anyone done to relieve this?

For some background information, I am 37 so I know that your roots lengthen over time, leading to a greater chance of nerve damage. I also have fibromyalgia, hypermobility, and a still-to-be-diagnosed form of arthritis, all of which I'm sure are contributing. I've read through all the related questions but still need advice.
posted by ellieBOA to Health & Fitness (19 answers total)
Best answer: A friend had intense dental/jaw pain which was not helped by the usual painkillers. He got relief with acupuncture.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 5:47 AM on June 30, 2021

Best answer: Ice and anti-inflammatories. I have really screwed up wisdom teeth that I can't afford to have removed yet.

I have a strap that I can velcro to my head that holds two miniature ice packs. It holds the ice exactly where I place it. I think it cost maybe $15 online.

I'd recommend take whatever your normal dose would be of the anti-inflammatory that works best for you. For me it's ibuprofen. I start with the normal dose, and repeated every 3 to 4 hours, while icing 20 minutes out of each hour. On occasion this will make the pain go away. But almost always at least makes it tolerable so that I can focus on other things.

IANYD, of course.
posted by Vigilant at 5:56 AM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I take Naproxen daily already and it hasn't made a difference (or maybe the pain would be worse without). Ice and acupuncture are great suggestions, thanks.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:58 AM on June 30, 2021

This happened to my spouse, and an X-ray by a different dentist showed a bit of broken jaw from the extraction. That dentist surgically removed a small piece of the jawbone that was floating around under the tooth-hole, which helped immensely.
posted by OrangeVelour at 6:13 AM on June 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: At 28, my wisdom teeth holes took about 3 months to close, and 6 months-12months to fully close where food wouldn't get caught in it anymore.
posted by bbqturtle at 6:38 AM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you're hypermobile, as I understand it, your body may not process the vitamins and minerals necessary to make collagen as efficiently as everyone else. But I did a search for the vitamins and minerals necessary for wound healing, and it looks like it's pretty much all of them. If you've got a hole in your jaw, you may not be eating that great right now. So make sure you're getting enough nutrition from what you're eating, if you can.
posted by aniola at 7:18 AM on June 30, 2021

Best answer: This may well be completely unrelated to what is causing your jaw pain, but I'm mentioning it because it's not usually the first thing people thing of and maybe it could help with the pain until things heal up a bit more.

Sometimes I get sharp pain around that same junction of my mouth (especially when biting down) and in my case it is nearly always sinus-related. Maybe try taking a decongestant as well as your naproxen to see if that helps further reduce any inflammation and pressure in that area?

Hope you feel better soon!
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:31 AM on June 30, 2021

Just a thought and IANYD but could you have dry socket? Maybe your dentist said it wasn't, but if not you could ask? Dry socket prevents the extraction site from healing. It is very treatable.
posted by socrateaser at 7:33 AM on June 30, 2021

Ice ice baby.

I recently had a back lower cracked molar removed and a post inserted prior to an implant. My wisdom teeth (3 out of 4) were removed decades ago. For me, and for all three of my children who had their wisdom teeth out, the dentist or surgeon gave them and me some gel packs to put in the freezer and use when in pain. It definitely helped, but it was not a long term solution.

Considerable pain six weeks out is in my non medical/dental opinion not normal. The hole not being closed is within a normal range, but your pain should have subsided by now.

Could there be another cause? Maybe the stress is causing you to grind your teeth at night and it is TMJ?
posted by AugustWest at 7:57 AM on June 30, 2021

Best answer: Pain in your upper jaw, if you are describing the cheekbone area accurately, is more likely related to the muscles that attach in that area. It's common for patients to clench or grind after extractions as a subconscious reflex to help manage the discomfort of the healing process.

There are levels of healing that are occurring simultaneously where you wisdom tooth was. The hole in the bone will fill slowly, the surface gum tissue will heal more quickly but won't achieve it's final shape until the bone heals underneath. If there's a dimple or crater, food can get caught and create inflammation and pain.

A combination of ibuprofen (400 mg) and acetaminophen (500 mg) taken every 6 hrs should manage your discomfort. Only take these if you are able to take these, and don't take more than this.

IANYD of course. So continue to see your dentist and , if you trust them, follow their directions.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:09 AM on June 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all. I've checked for tooth grinding and TMJ and it was decided fibromyalgia was causing jaw pain. Also not dry socket. I will try a decongestant, and I eat a very balanced diet plus supplements so I am getting all the nutrients I need.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:24 AM on June 30, 2021

Best answer: If you can get your hands on CBD cream or balm, that was recommended to me on here for facial nerve pain and it helped a lot.
posted by bleep at 10:08 AM on June 30, 2021

Dentist? Have you seen an oral surgeon?
posted by thelonius at 12:22 PM on June 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is the sore area - or anywhere around your mouth/jaw/cheek - hot at all? I got an infection after my wisdom tooth removal that resulted in a LOT of pain. My dentist figured out it was an infection by touching my cheek, which was slightly hot and red. I didn't realize this myself because it was summer. The pain was gone after two days of antibiotics.
posted by lunasol at 3:04 PM on June 30, 2021

Response by poster: Haven’t seen an oral surgeon yet, and no heat indicating an infection.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:17 PM on June 30, 2021

And if you rub cloves on your gums that will numb them - oil of cloves dabbed on does the same. But be careful eating afterwards.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 10:17 PM on June 30, 2021

Best answer: I also had sudden intense, shooting pain in my face and jaw for longer than anticipated after my wisdom tooth extraction when I was a teenager. I returned to the oral surgeon twice because of pain, and he told me that some people just heal much more slowly. He was right, and slowly my pain receded. Years later a dentist diagnosed a fracture in my palate, which sounds similar to what OrangeVelour described above. He said that sometimes,the force required to dig severely impacted teeth out of the mandible and maxilla causes tiny fractures. It sounded like something that was more common in the maxillary area, where the bone is thinner.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 3:08 PM on July 2, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks, will keep that in mind.

I tried acupuncture on Friday and think it has helped, I could sleep almost on that side (keeping my head further down the pillow to avoid too much pressure). The acupuncturist I saw is also a naturopath and she recommended oil pulling with added tea tree, peppermint, and helichryum essential oils, I will test that over the week once the helichryum is delivered.

I hadn't heard of this oil before, but if anyone else uses arnica on their bruises, it is a more effective version!
posted by ellieBOA at 4:54 AM on July 4, 2021

Sometimes, a small piece of bone can break off (maxillary tuberosity) and can prolong the pain during healing. You may also be experiencing jaw-related pain. For jaw related pain/stiffness, muscle relaxants like Robaxacet help. If small fragments of bone chipped off during the extraction, then it just takes time to heal. Anti-inflammatories work well for what is predominantly inflammatory pain.

I follow a blog that provides tons of great dental information and they have an awesome article on wisdom teeth extractions and healing.

They also have a really comprehensive page on wisdom tooth removal and post-operative healing, too.

Hope I've added something to this discussion to help you and I wish you the best with continued healing.
posted by Waterloobian at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2021

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