3d character puppet having teeth painQuestion: What do you do with an infected wisdom tooth?

Answer: When your wisdom tooth is infected or there are signs of infection like swelling, pus formation, pain and fever, you need to consult your dentist at once. He will prescribe medications like antibiotics to treat infection, fever medications for fever and pain killers. When the infection is controlled, he will schedule you for wisdom tooth extraction.

What is the treatment for an infected wisdom tooth?

There are a total of four wisdom teeth that may erupt but not everyone gets all four. Some have one while others don’t even have wisdom teeth growth but for every person who had wisdom teeth, infection is the most common complication. An infection wisdom tooth is the result of impaction. Impaction happens when the tooth does not completely erupt from the gum line. The wisdom tooth may partially erupt or may never erupt at all.


This impaction creates crevices and spaces where dirt and food bits may get stuck. These small food particles rot and become a perfect haven for bacteria to multiply. When bacteria multiply they may damage the gums and the enamel of teeth and cause severe pain and infection. These are the most common signs of infection:

  • Fever
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Pus formation
  • Tenderness on the site
  • Pain

If you have any of these symptoms, you need to consult your dentist for the most suitable treatment for your infected wisdom tooth. Your dentist will usually do the following procedures:

  1. Your dentist will do a complete dental examination that consists of a physical exam, medical history and a complete list of your allergies.
  2. Diagnostic examinations would have to be done. This usually consists of an X-ray and blood works to find out if there is indeed an infection.
  3. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to control infection. And to take care of other symptoms of infection he will surely advice taking pain killers and fever medications. He may also recommend natural treatments to take care of these symptoms at home.
  4. And possibly the most important thing of all is that your dentist will recommend extracting your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are often removed as soon as these erupt to prevent any complications like infection, pain and misalignment of nearby teeth. Wisdom teeth removal is done after the infection as subsided because there is a huge risk for complications.  Numbing the area with the use of anesthesia before the procedure could be difficult when there is infected tissue.

So how is an infected wisdom teeth managed at home aside from taking antibiotics prescribe by your doctor? Here are some ways:

Gargle with plain water

An infected wisdom tooth is already irritated and inflamed and irritating it more with chemicals and synthetic substances will only make matters worse. So how do you clean in infected wisdom tooth? The best way is to gargle with plain water. Water will simply flush out dirt that ordinary brushes and toothpicks will never remove without damaging or irritating an infected tooth. Flush after every meal to make sure that there are no left over food particles that can irritate the tooth.

Use cold compresses

Pain and swelling that accompanies an infected tooth could be unbearable but these may be easily managed with the use of cold compresses. Use an ice bag to deliver cold directly over the cheeks or you may use a cold towel instead. If you can manage, melt ice chips in your mouth to readily apply cold over the affected area.

You may also sip cold water or cold drinks if you don’t feel pain. As you sip cold water, allow the cold liquid to swish over the area. You may spit water out.

Natural remedies

Nature has the answer to an infected tooth and this is through the use of natural remedies that are known to control infections. One such readily available natural remedy is garlic. Garlic has natural chemicals that are effective in the treatment of bacterial infection and viral infections. It also has an astringent effect that cleans the oral cavity. Garlic is also known to reduce inflammation which is ideal for managing different symptoms of infection.

It is easy to use garlic; all you need is to use a clove. Mash this using a mortar and pestle and apply this on your affected wisdom tooth. Bite onto it and allow the juices to coat your teeth. You will feel warmth on the area which means that the natural therapeutic properties of garlic are working. You may also chew this garlic piece to allow the juice to soak the entire oral cavity to help remove bacteria. After several minutes, gargle with water and rinse your mouth very well. Repeat this twice or thrice a day.

Another natural remedy that is also readily available in your kitchen is ginger. Aside from adding an exotic flavour to foods, ginger root has natural properties that can help reduce inflammation and fight infection. And just like using garlic, ginger may be chewed or pressed directly over the affected area. You may also use a ginger poultice and apply on your cheek with a clean bandage or piece of cloth.

Alternative treatments

Treatments for infection have been studied for centuries and the most popular ones are being used in most alternative remedies. Treatments like aromatherapy, acupuncture and yoga have been used to manage pain, reduce swelling and to strengthen the immune system to fight infection.

The use of diet to strengthen the immune system is also recommended by most dentists and doctors since basically we are what we eat. Eating healthier foods will make you healthy while choosing unhealthy food options can only lead to illness. When the immune system is strengthened, there is a better possibility of fighting infections. With the use of these alternative remedies as well as following your dentist’s advice and prescription, your doctor will be able to remove your wisdom teeth in no time at all.


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