How to manage dental pain until you can see a dentist (COVID-19 pandemic)
If you develop dental pain there are a few things you can do that may help reduce the pain without having to leave your house.
The practice will continue to stay open for telephone emergency advice only as per advice from the UK Government and British Dental Association. If you have symptoms of Coronavirus please ensure you let the receptionist know when you call.
We are still here to help as best we can during this difficult time if these ideas dont help please phone for more advice.
Here are a few things you can try to help manage pain from teeth, gums, ulcers and/or broken teeth until you can see us:
How to manage pain from teeth while self-isolating?
- Anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAIDs)
Anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAIDs) can reduce the sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both. However, there are some reports that Ibuprofen may increase the symptoms of COVID-19 so Paracetamol alone is probably best if you have symptoms. Make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dosage.
Tip: Don’t stop taking the anti-inflammatory when the pain stops (or it will come back again).
- Desensitising toothpaste
- Anaesthetic gel
Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel applied to the area can help to numb the pain.
- Clove Oil
This essential oil can be found in health food stores and you can apply it onto the painful tooth with a cotton bud. This works well if there is an exposed nerve due to deep decay but for it to work, you need to place it onto the exposed nerve.
- Keep your head elevated
Keep your head elevated at night when you lie down to go to sleep, the blood pressure in the tooth can increase which increases pain. An extra pillow can help keep your head elevated when you sleep.
- Saltwater Rinse
Saltwater works to reduce dental bacteria by creating an acidic environment as you swish it around your mouth. It can also help to dislodge bits of stuck food that may be causing pain, helping with managing tooth pain.
- Cold Compress
Sometimes tooth pain can lead to swelling. A cold compress can help reduce your swollen face and can also offer some temporary pain relief. It is especially effective when you have a chipped tooth or one that was knocked loose. However, if red gums and a fever accompany the pain, there may be an infection, and you should immediately get to a dentist.
Tip: Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the infection into the tissues in your face causing external swellings.
How to manage pain from gums while self-isolating?
If there is bacteria or food debris trapped between the gum and the tooth, this can cause pain.
- Clean the area
- Rinse thoroughly
Rinse thoroughly with Corsodyl mouthwash can help (but Corsodyl will stain your teeth so we don’t recommend this for long term use).
Worried about your gum health?
Corsodyl have created an online gum health test, so you can access your gum health from your home.
How to manage pain from ulcers while self-isolating?
Mouth ulcers can be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as iron deficiency so shouldn’t be ignored. Any mouth ulcer which doesn’t heal in two weeks should be checked by a dentist.
To reduce the discomfort, you can try:
- Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel, Bonjela or Anbesol
To help with healing of ulcers, you can try:
- Gengigel can be effective as well as soothing the pain
How to manage pain from broken teeth while self-isolating?
If a tooth or filling has chipped or cracked, this can cause sensitivity from the tooth being exposed or pain to your tongue from sharp edges.
- de-sensitising toothpaste
The sensitivity can be reduced by rubbing a de-sensitising toothpaste onto the tooth or placing a temporary filling material over the broken corner until a more definitive filling can be placed.
What is deemed a dental emergency?
If you have signs and symptoms of an acute infection such as:
- facial swelling
- trouble breathing
- trouble swallowing
- swelling around your eyes
- suffered trauma and are bleeding from a broken or missing tooth
This requires urgent professional attention.
The practice will continue to stay open for telephone emergency advice only as per advice from the UK/Scottish Government and British Dental Association.
If you have symptoms of Coronavirus please ensure you let the receptionist know when you call.