A woman is applying pressure to her cheek as she experiences toothache and is resorting to an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the discomfort.

How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Pain Last?

A woman is applying pressure to her cheek as she experiences toothache and is resorting to an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the discomfort.

November 23, 2023

How long wisdom teeth pain lasts typically depends on what’s causing the pain or discomfort, whether that’s extraction or simply the teeth coming in. For example, you can expect 1 to 3 days of discomfort following a tooth extraction. But discomfort from the wisdom teeth coming in can last as long as it takes for the tooth to fully emerge, which varies from person to person.

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil, can often provide relief from wisdom tooth pain. But persistent pain could indicate complications, and you should see your dentist for an examination.

Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In

There are a few telltale signs that your wisdom teeth are coming in. You may experience pain or discomfort at the back of your mouth, behind your molars. There could also be swelling in the same area where the teeth are trying to push through the gums. The swelling could cause the gums to be tender and you may experience some discomfort when chewing.

You might also experience some difficulty opening your mouth. If your wisdom teeth are coming in at an angle, they can push against the other teeth, which can make it hard to open your mouth wide.

Don’t be surprised if you get a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath. This can happen if the wisdom teeth are partially erupted. Food and bacteria can get trapped under the gum tissue, leading to a potential infection or decay.

Keep in mind, that everyone’s different. Some people don’t have any symptoms at all. But if you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a dentist.

How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Pain Last?

It’s hard to determine an accurate time because each person’s growth rate is slightly different. Wisdom teeth typically come in between the ages of 15 to 25. You may experience some discomfort or pain off and on for the duration of the growth.

Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil can often help reduce swelling and provide some relief. Ice packs and warm compresses are also great non-medication options. You should contact your dentist if you’re experiencing persistent pain that isn’t relieved with at-home care, especially if it lasts longer than 3 days.

Complications During Wisdom Teeth Emerging

Several complications can lead to increased discomfort and the possibility of requiring a wisdom tooth extraction, they include:

  • Infection
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Damage to surrounding teeth or bone

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The dentist or oral surgeon will usually numb the area around the tooth with an injection of local anesthetic during a wisdom tooth extraction. But depending on the complexity of the case, they may also opt for general anesthesia to ensure the patient is fully unconscious throughout the procedure.

Once the area is numb, the dentist or surgeon can loosen the tooth from the gum and bone using special tools. The tooth may need to be divided into sections for easier removal, or sometimes it can be easily extracted in one piece.

A close-up of a woman holding a glass of saltwater intended for gargling following a tooth extraction.

Pain Relief Following Extraction

After the procedure, it’s normal to experience some discomfort and swelling for a few days. The dentist or surgeon will typically provide instructions for post-operative care. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a week or so.

OTC painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications are common recommendations for pain relief following a tooth extraction. Some other self-care things your dentist may recommend include:

  • Applying ice packs to your cheek
  • Eating only soft foods
  • Keeping your head elevated while lying down
  • Using a warm compress
  • Gently rinsing with salt water (starting 24 hours after the procedure)

How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Pain Last Following Extraction

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for how long the pain or discomfort will last following a wisdom tooth extraction. But you can expect 1 to 3 days of discomfort as a general rule. It may be a good idea to see your dentist if the pain persists longer than this and isn’t alleviated with OTC pain relievers or ice packs.

Discuss Your Situation with Your Dentist

Many people assume that wisdom tooth removal is an automatic thing that happens when they come in, but not everyone needs to have them removed. It’s when there are complications, such as impacted teeth, that removal may be necessary.

Your dentist can determine whether you may need 1 or more of your wisdom teeth removed based on a physical examination of your mouth and x-rays.

Call us at West Metro Dental to book an appointment today. One of our experienced dentists can review your options with you if you’ve been experiencing any pain or discomfort as your wisdom teeth are coming in.


We value our patients - See what our patients have to say about their experiences at our dental practice!

Emily Sedgwick

West Metro Dental was as pleasant an experience as a Dental visit can be. The office was clean and in a very accessible location. My one complaint is that I requested my x-rays be sent to an oral surgeon and they haven't responded to my request yet. Other than that the office has friendly professionals and is a good atmosphere!

Emily Sedgwick
Sara Elle LeBlanc

Most amazing team! Very professional and helpful with anything to do with your teeth. I absolutely love and appreciate my Hygienist Kim! She's so sweet and always makes sure my teeth are clean and sparkling white! Best team of dental professionals in the GTA hands down!

Sara Elle LeBlanc
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Best dental office I've ever been to! The staff is very friendly and they genuinely care! They have all of the new technology and are very good at their jobs from wisdom teeth extraction to root canals to cleaning. I highly recommend them!

Sarah Ramnarine
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Been a patient for 5 years. Dr Walia and his staff are incredible. Everyone greets me by name. Never wait more than 20 minutes for an appointment. The true definition of superior customer service and this is from a guy who worked in the customer service industry for many years. I've moved 3 times since being a patient and continue to go to west metro despite there being dentists closer to where I live. I always feel welcome.

Elijah Vieau


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191 The West Mall #100, Etobicoke, Ontario, M9C 5L6

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