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How to manage toothache at home during isolation time


NHS England and the department of health have instructed dental practices to prioritise urgent treatment where possible. The following guidance is to support you in helping managing minor symptoms at home and reduce the risk of virus transmission to you, our staff and our patients.

You need urgent dental treatment if you have:

  1. Facial swelling extending to eye, neck or floor of the mouth

  2. Bleeding following an extraction that doesn’t stop after 20 mins of solid pressure with gauze

  3. Bleeding due to trauma

  4. Severely broken tooth, or tooth fallen out with pain

  5. Toothache that is preventing sleep or eating, combined with swelling or fever, not manageable with painkillers

You need to go to the A&E if you have:

  1. Facial Swelling affecting your vision, breathing or preventing your mouth opening more than 2 fingers width

  2. Trauma causing loss of consciousness, double vision or vomiting

Non-urgent dental care:

  1. Loose or lost crowns, bridges or veneers

  2. Broken, rubbing or loose dentures

  3. Bleeding gums

  4. Broken, loose or lost fillings

  5. Chipped teeth with no pain

  6. Loose orthodontic wires

Pain Management – Over the counter painkillers can help (take in accordance with instructions on the packet). Patients who have confirmed Covid-19, or believe they have it, should take  paracetamol in preference to ibuprofen

Tooth sensitivity – If you have extreme sensitivity to hot or cold, sensitive toothpaste can help. Rub toothpaste directly on the affected area and don’t rinse afterwards. Anaesthetic gel can also help ease pain.

Wisdom tooth pain – Most flare ups can be managed with good home care:

  1. Through cleaning (even if painful

  2. Corsodyl mouthwash (max 1 week use)

  3. Soft diet

  4. Warm salty water mouthwash

  5. Painkillers

If you have trouble swallowing or swelling in your cheek, you may need antibiotics. Call us or nhs 111.

Ulcers – Most ulcers heal within 7-10 days. To ease the pain, try:

  1. Warm salty water mouthwash

  2. Benzydamine spray or mouthwash

  3. Through cleaning (even if painful)

  4. Corsodyl mouthwash (max 1 week use)

  5. Soft diet

  6. Painkillers

Rubbing dentures  – Denture adhesives may help secure a loose denture. Use an emery board to file sharp edges.

Bleeding gums – Bleeding from gums is not a dental emergency. It is usually due to gum disease, and will not stop until brushing improves. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes. Concentrate especially on the areas that are bleeding. Use floss or tepe brushes to clean between your teeth every day.



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