Covid-19 - home help

Toothache

A few home measures that can help make symptoms manageable are:

  • If you have a dark open cavity this is likely to be decay. Fluoride toothpaste can help slow the progression of the bacteria causing the hole. This can also reduce pain and sensitivity. Smear generously over tooth.
  • “Orajel” is an anaesthetic gel. Using this can help with the toothache, place topically over the site of pain.
  • If you are experiencing sensitivity, a desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne Repair and Protect can help. Simply rub the toothpaste onto the area, and leave -Do not rinse after use.
  • If you have cracked a tooth, a hole or a filling has fallen out, it can be filled with temporary filling material. These can be purchased across many supermarkets and/or pharmacies and/or on-line. Sharp edges that cut your tongue or cheek can be smoothed with an emery board for filing nails.
  • Pain Killers - please always read the dosage advice and if in doubt ring the surgery or a pharmacist. Usual advice for toothache is to take Paracetamol in combination with ibuprofen. However, there has been an unconfirmed suggestion of an interaction between ibuprofen and the Corona virus, if possible we would advise to take paracetamol only, unless you are 1) unable to take paracetamol, or 2) have been told by a medical clinician that you can. If paracetamol is not helping, Co-codamol is also available over the counter, without prescription.

If you are still having problems then give us a call and we will talk you through the next steps for emergency care, which may include referral to an Urgent Treatment Centre.

Wisdom teeth

Gum infection around sore wisdom teeth can often be managed from home, and can settle within a week if you can do the following:

  • Thorough cleaning around the area will help the healing process, it is ok to encourage bleeding
  • Soft foods, therefore avoiding having to bite down in the affected area as much as possible
  • Warm salt rinses
  • Corsodyl mouthwash can be used as well. It is advised to avoid using for more than 1 week, as it could potentially cause staining of your teeth, but this can be easily removed by your Dentist or Hygienist if need be.
  • If there is swelling around the area that goes into your face/cheek, at this point you will need to call the surgery, as it may be necessary for antibiotics to clear an infection. These can be prescribed remotely without needing to come to the surgery if necessary.

Ulcers

Although painful, most ulcers heal within 7-10 days and can be treated at home.

  • Warm salt washes
  • Cleaning gently around the area using a soft toothbrush
  • Soft food diets
  • Corsodyl mouthwash
  • Fixodent for a loose denture that is starting to rub, will help secure it. Try to keep the dentures out at times when not needed to help the healing process quicker
  • If caused by abrasion from something sharp then ring the surgery for advice.

However, if they do not heal after 3 weeks, please call us where we can assess you further.

Lost crowns

If you feel confident enough, a lost crown can be recemented from home using ONLY “Recapit” or another dental cement that you can purchase from a Pharmacy. It should never be superglued or put back on using other materials.

In order for it to be recemented correctly, all debris from the crown must be removed. Use something small with a solid tip, such as a paper clip, to scrape away the old cement. If all of the debris is not cleared, it will not fit back correctly.

Once it has been cleared, make sure to test the fitting of the crown; that the bite feels okay and there is no discomfort when doing so. You will then need to dry the tooth and the crown, mix the cement as instructed on the packet and fill the crown.

Once the crown has been placed, bite down firmly for it to set; make sure you floss in between the surrounding teeth, so they do not stick together.

As and when appointments become available again, call the surgery to get an appointment booked in to get it seen to for a permanent fix.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are not usually a dental emergency. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste concentrating especially on the area that is bleeding. Use floss or Te-Pe brushes to clean in between the teeth.

Pain or bleeding after an extraction

Pain after an extraction is normal and can last 3-4 days after surgery.

Take regular painkillers that you are allowed to take, following the correct dosage on the box. If the socket is bleeding freely and constantly, bite firmly on gauze or a clean cotton handkerchief for 20 minutes. This should then stop the bleeding, however if it does not, call the surgery. Make sure you are following post extraction instructions, which includes no smoking for 48 hours, and no rinsing for 10 hours, as this can cause you to get a dry socket. This can be very painful. You will need to call us if this happens as pain killers may not help.

Emergency care

Uncontrolled bleeding or swelling restricting swallowing or extending to eye:

Contact 111 or attend A & E