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Learn about your pain in the lower wisdom tooth, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in the lower wisdom tooth from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth Checker

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Your Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth May Also be Known as:
Lower wisdom tooth pain
Wisdom tooth pain

Top 9 Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth Causes

  1. 1.Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located in front of the ear, and it connects the jaw to the side of the head. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a painful condition which can be caused by excess tension in jaw mucles, faulty alignment between upper and lower teeth, arthritis in the joint, or injury of the jaw or face.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This is a complex condition to treat, because the causes are not always clear. Treatment may include resting the jaw with a soft diet, pain medications, and physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, history of headaches, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, pain in the back of the neck, jaw pain
    Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibiular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder:
    pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Infected Wisdom Tooth (Pericoronitis)

    Pericoronitis of the 3rd molar is an infection of the gums surrounding the 3rd molar (wisdom tooth). It almost never happens to normal teeth because wisdom teeth take a long time to break the gums (erupt). It's believed that once the wisdom tooth breaks the surface of the gums, the bacteria in the mouth get into the gums at that spot and cause an infection. This is also worsened by food particles that build up in the area.

    You should go immediately to your dentist, or, if they are not available, go to the nearest urgent care center. There, the dentist/doctor will clean the area, drain any pus, and write for an antibiotic mouth rinse. Penicillin is reserved for severe cases. A follow-up with a dentist is required to see if you need to get the tooth pulled.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    possible wisdom tooth pain, moderate tooth pain, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, mild tooth pain, severe tooth pain
    Symptoms that always occur with infected wisdom tooth (pericoronitis):
    possible wisdom tooth pain
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  3. 3.Tooth Abscess (Infection)

    A tooth abscess is a collection of infected material (pus) in the center of a tooth. It is due to bacterial infection.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an ER, where diagnosis is made based on your history, a blood test, and an x-ray of the mouth. If the abscess is affecting your breathing, this is a medical emergency! Treatment involves incision and drainage of the abscess with antibiotics.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    severe jaw or tooth pain, swollen jaw, jaw stiffness, tooth pain that gets worse with hot, cold, or sweet beverages, warm and red jaw swelling
    Symptoms that always occur with tooth abscess (infection):
    severe jaw or tooth pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Acute Viral Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus spaces behind the nose and cheeks. These spaces produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If the nose is swollen or if the mucus does not drain, this can block the sinuses and cause pain or infection.

    You can treat your symptoms at home using ibuprofen (for pain) and Tylenol (for a fever). Antibiotics for this diagnosis are not helpful because this is likely a viral infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, cough, sore throat, sinusitis symptoms, muscle aches
    Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth Checker

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  5. 5.Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

    Acute bacterial sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become infected and, in turn, inflamed, which causes pain and other symptoms. The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the face that are generally clean and empty but when sick collect excess mucus and can become infected.

    You should visit a physician or urgent care facility in the next day or two. It’s likely your sinus infection is caused by a bacterial infection, which requires treatment with antibiotics. In the mean time, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to help with pain & fever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, muscle aches, sore throat
    Symptoms that always occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    clear runny nose, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Bronchitis

    Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus, as well as shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. It is typically caused by a virus.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own by resting, drinking fluids and taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to alleviate fever and discomfort. If the condition lasts longer than a few weeks, or if your symptoms are worsening, you may want to see a doctor who may prescribe an inhaler or pursue other treatment options.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    cough, productive cough, sore throat, wheezing, coughing up green or yellow phlegm
    Symptoms that always occur with bronchitis:
    cough
    Symptoms that never occur with bronchitis:
    nausea or vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Gingivitis

    Gingivitis is the infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is caused by plaque and/or tartar that has built up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky layer of gunk made by food particles, mucus, and bacteria. After a while, plaque hardens to become tartar (or calculus). Plaque and tartar at the bottom of the teeth causes the gums to become irritated and infected.

    You should go to the nearest dentist in the next few weeks. There, the dentist or dental hygenist will clean your teeth, getting rid of that nasty plaque/tartar. Once cleaned, you should rinse your mouth twice-a-day with chlorhexidine 0.12% oral rinse (PerioGard) or half-strength hydrogen peroxide. Flossing and brushing your teeth are also essential.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    bleeding gums, gum pain, gum swelling, gum redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Retropharyngeal Abscess (Adult)

    Retropharyngeal abscess is a collection of pus in the tissues in the back of the throat. It is a potentially life-threatening medical condition.

    This is a medical emergency. Please seek out urgent care at your closest Emergency Department today. Diagnosis is done with imaging. Treatment is immediate surgical drainage and antibiotics.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, loss of appetite, sore throat, being severely ill, shortness of breath
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  9. 9.Dental Cavity

    Dental cavities are bacterial infections of the tooth. The bacteria produce acid that breaks down the tooth.

    You should visit your dentist within the next 24 hours. Once a toothache presents, the tooth might already be in big trouble, and it needs attention right away.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, toothache, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, pain in the top row of teeth, tooth pain that gets worse with hot, cold, or sweet beverages
    Symptoms that never occur with dental cavity:
    spontanenous tooth pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth

  • Q.How severe is your tooth pain?
  • Q.How long has your tooth/teeth been hurting?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Were you hit or injured anywhere on your face? If so, where?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our pain in the lower wisdom tooth symptom checker.

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Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in the lower wisdom tooth have also experienced:

    • 6% Headache
    • 5% Pain in the Upper Wisdom Tooth
    • 4% Sore Throat
  • People who have experienced pain in the lower wisdom tooth had symptoms persist for:

    • 54% Less Than a Day
    • 26% Less Than a Week
    • 8% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pain in the lower wisdom tooth were most often matched with:

    • 42% Temporomandibiular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder
    • 17% Infected Wisdom Tooth (Pericoronitis)
    • 10% Tooth Abscess (Infection)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Pain in the Lower Wisdom Tooth Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the lower wisdom tooth.

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