If you are suffering from any of the concerns below during this lockdown period, we would recommend that before trying to book an emergency appointment through 111, please try the following remedies

Toothache

1. Regular painkillers if you need them

2. Good oral hygiene regime with a fluoride toothpaste being placed on any particular tooth, and leaving it without rinsing.

3. Reduce your intake of sugary foods should ensure that any tooth decay does not get worse

Broken filling / Fractured tooth

1. An emergency dental kit can be purchased from the chemist to temporarily address the tooth that has been affected.

2. Do take painkillers if you require them

3. Ensure you maintain a good level of oral hygiene and limit your sugar intake to prevent an possible damage to the tooth from getting worse.

Bleeding gums

1. This is often associated with plaque collection or food particles trapped in between the teeth or within the pockets between the teeth and their gums. Please brush your teeth and gums twice a day and pay particular time and attention to cleaning those gums that are bleeding more readily. Purchase assorted sizes of interdental brushes to access the spaces between the teeth or alternatively use floss.

2. Use warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) to rinse the mouth following the brushing and interdental brushing regime.

Bleeding following an extraction

1. Bleeding often responds well to pressure, therefore please take a clean tea towel and bite down firmly for 15 minutes. If the bleeding is continuing without any reduction, please repeat this and following that attempt, call 111.

2. Following an extraction, there will be a “taste of blood” and traces of blood found mixed with the saliva, this is quite normal.

Pain following an extraction

1. It is quite normal to experience pain 3-4 days following an extraction. If you have this, kindly use painkillers to help.

2. Rinse gently with warm salt water, that is 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water especially after each meal, and repeat up to 6 times a day.

3. If the pain appears to be getting worse, a week following an extraction, you may be getting an infection and please call 111 for an appointment.

Lost crown/ post crown / veneer

1. From the chemist, you can purchase temporary crown cementing materials such as “Toofy pegs”, this should help, but please follow the instructions provided.

2. If the crown/ veneer is too loose to be secured with the over the counter solution, please call 111 to arrange an appointment.

3. A low sugar diet and good oral hygiene should help reduce any damage to the underlying tooth until it can be secured more permanently.

Sensitivity

1. Teeth may be sensitive due to gum recession, defective margins under large or old fillings where decay may be spreading or due to an infection developing within the tooth.

2. Initially try to apply a fluoride toothpaste on the sensitive area without rinsing this off and leave it on the surface for as long as possible. If this can be repeated over night, that would be ideal.

3. Should the sensitivity be on the upper middle and back teeth, this may be a side effect associated with hay fever, a cold or sinusitis. If you have been suffering from any of these conditions recently, continue with the medication you have been provided as dental intervention may not necessarily help.

4. Do use regular painkillers if you require them and monitor how the sensitivity progresses over the following few days, if it escalates into definitive pain, please contact 111

Swelling

1. If you have noticed a swelling within the gums, you could try and drain this at home, by covering the site with a handkerchief and applying pressure, this should help discharge the swelling, there may be some bleeding associated with this procedure. Continue until the discharge reduces. Do not try this, if you are on any blood thinning medication. In these circumstances call 111

2. Following the discharge, rinse you mouth with warm salt water rinses (1teaspoon of salt in warm water)

3. If the swelling does not discharge, and pain is increasing in intensity, take painkillers and call 111

Ulcers

1. Apply “Bonjela”on an area the is painful, especially before any meal.

2. Use “difflam mouthrinse”, to help if the site is painful as well as painkillers if need be.

3. Rinse with warm salt water regularly (1 teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water)

4. If you have noticed an ulcer is not responding to any intervention and you are concerned that it has not been resolved over a 10 day period, contact 111 for an urgent assessment.

Denture rubbing or looseness

1. If there are any sharp edges digging into the gums from your denture, located the problem area on your denture and use either and emery board and file the surface down.

2. The area of gum that has been irritated by the denture may still be sore even after the denture has been corrected and therefore, if possible leave the denture out an use warm salt water (1teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) to bathe the sore area with.

3. Apply “Bongela” if the site remains sore and leave the denture out until the site heals.

4. For loose dentures: try a denture fixative for example “Ploygrip or Fixodent or seabond” to secure your denture. The are a variety of adhesives on the market and it requires you to try a number of different types to find out which one suits you best.

Painkillers

1. In most households there are a variety of painkillers kept, often for dental pain paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine preparations are used.

2. If you have a bleeding disorder we would recommend that you avoid aspirin.

3. If you are asthmatic, please avoid ibuprofen

4. In general please avoid using codeine continually for more than three days .

In all cases, if you are unsure about which painkillers to use, consult your chemist or doctor for more advice.