Managing Dental Pain at Home
Posted on 01/04/20
If you are self-isolating or adhering to the government’s advice to stay at home, getting toothache is really the last thing you need. Our dental experts are available to offer advice for dental emergencies over the phone or by e-mail weekdays from 9:30am to 4:30 pm. As soon as we are able to, we will get you in to the practice for treatment. Feel free to send us a photo of your dental problem by email to help us with your assessment.
In addition, there are a few home treatments which should help manage the pain until you can be seen safely at our practice.
It is important to note that if you have facial swelling, uncontrolled bleeding or trauma, you should ALWAYS call our emergency line.
Why am I in pain?
Decay is a bacterial infection of a tooth. If the bacteria get close to the nerve in a tooth, it can cause the tooth to be acutely sensitive. As the infection causing inflammation of the nerve gets worse, the ligaments holding the tooth in position can also get inflamed which causes pain on biting as it swells.
Can you treat the infection?
The decay needs to be removed to allow the tooth to heal. We are able to prescribe you with antibiotics which may stop the infection and in turn the pain. However, if the bacteria have caused irreversible damage to the nerve in the tooth then a root filling is required or the tooth needs to be extracted. During the current coronavirus crisis, the guidance from the government is NOT to drill teeth, leaving both dentists and patients with the difficult choice of removing or leaving these problematic teeth.
How can I manage my toothache at home?
There are a few solutions you can try depending on the dental problem you are experiencing: -
Dental Emergency Repair Kit
If there is a cavity in the tooth, a temporary filling material can be packed into this space. These temporary filling kits such as Dentanurse are widely available from supermarkets, pharmacies or from our practice for collection or delivery. Similarly, for problems such as dislodged crowns or bridges, try our dental emergency home kits. Contact us by phone or email to purchase one.
Anti-inflammatory tablets such as Ibuprofen can reduce the sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both alternately, however, there are some reports that Ibuprofen may increase the symptoms of COVID-19 so Paracetamol alone is probably best if you have symptoms of COVID-19. It is extremely important that you DO NOT exceed the recommended dosage. Don't stop taking the anti-inflammatory when the pain stops (or it will come back again). You need to reduce the inflammation of the nerve in the tooth which is causing the pain.
Desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne Rapid relief is very effective or even better is Duraphat toothpaste which can be dispensed by us.
Loose, snapped or chipped tooth
If you have loose, snapped or chipped tooth that is not causing you any pain then try to avoid eating with that tooth. If it becomes painful then please contact the practice.
Make sure you continue to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Use cleaning aids such as floss, interdental brushes or airfloss/waterpik and rinse with a mouthwash at a different time of day to brushing.