Understanding Duration of Pain: Insights into Dental Health

May 12, 2024 | 1 min read

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Duration of pain varies across dental and oral health issues, from teething in infants to wisdom teeth in young adults, and from tooth extractions to teeth grinding. Understanding these pain timelines can help guide expectations and management strategies.

How Long Does Teething Pain Last?

Teething typically begins when a baby is around 6 months old, although it can start anywhere from 3 months to 12 months of age. The pain associated with teething generally lasts for a few days with each new tooth's emergence.

However, the overall teething process, which involves multiple teeth, can extend over a period of about two years. Here are a few factors that can influence the duration of teething pain:

  • The number of teeth coming in at the same time.
  • The baby’s individual pain tolerance and general health.

How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Pain Last?

Wisdom teeth generally start to emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. The duration of pain associated with wisdom teeth can range from a few days to a couple of weeks

This duration can extend if the teeth are impacted, which means they are trapped beneath the gum line or growing at an angle. Here are some considerations:

  • Pain duration is often extended if the wisdom teeth are impacted.
  • The individual's healing response and the degree of impaction can also influence how long the pain persists.

How Long Does Pain Last After Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure typically required due to severe decay, infection, or crowding. The pain following a tooth extraction generally subsides within a few days

Most patients experience the highest intensity of pain within the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure

Here are a few factors that can influence how long the pain lasts after extraction:

  • The complexity of the extraction, such as whether it involved a simple pull or surgical removal.
  • The patient's adherence to post-operative care instructions which can significantly affect recovery time and discomfort.

How Long Does Teeth Grinding Pain Last?

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, often occurs during sleep but can also happen during the day, which is referred to as awake bruxism. According to Medical News Today publication, awake bruxism does not typically cause teeth grinding but may still result in jaw clenching and muscle strain. 

The duration of pain from bruxism can vary widely. Some individuals might experience pain only during periods of stress when they are more likely to clench or grind their teeth, whereas others might have persistent pain due to continuous grinding habits

Factors that can affect the duration of pain include:

  • The severity and frequency of clenching or grinding.
  • Whether the individual uses protective measures like a mouthguard.
  • Underlying stress or sleep disorders that exacerbate the grinding, potentially extending the pain duration.
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