Don’t be Shy
If you have a dental emergency please contact us. Most practices are still offering telephone triage so you can be assessed while still at home, and then your dentist will provide advice accordingly.
Where appropriate, limited emergency treatment is available. Some dental issues can’t be put off.
“Following the consultation with the dentist, if a patient has an urgent need for emergency treatment, the dentist will advise on the best course of action. This may be further advice, the provision of a prescription, will have the treatment plan created at Complete Smiles or referral to an Urgent Dental Centre”
Chip off the Old Block
Before calling your dentist it’s important to understand what a dental emergency is. As mortifying as it may be for you, a chipped tooth isn’t going to cut it in an NHS Dental clinic. But Private Clinics will see you.
The list of emergencies requiring urgent treatment includes:
- Any type of facial swelling.
- Excruciating pain causing a lack of sleep or concentration.
- Mouth ulcers which haven’t healed after two weeks.
- Continuous bleeding after tooth extraction.
- A broken tooth causing unmanageable pain and damage to the cheek to tongue.
The most common dental problem people experience is toothache. Luckily, over-the-counter painkillers can help ease your discomfort.
“Reduce sugary or acidic foods, especially sweets or fizzy drinks – even diet ones – as these can aggravate the pain. It’s also important to avoid extremes of temperatures, such as hot drinks and very cold foods.”
Keeping your head elevated at night can also help, as can applying a cool pack or a packet of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to your cheek, to keep the area cold and take down any inflammation.
Struggling to eat without sensitivity causing you pain? Unfortunately, you’re going to have to ditch your sugary treats
“If you have an extremely sensitive tooth and are in discomfort, again as with toothache, we recommend that you reduce sugar in your diet, or any foods which are very hot or cold.”
“Continue to floss and brush your teeth as thoroughly as you can and rub sensitive toothpaste, such as Sensodyne or Colgate, directly onto the affected area and try leaving it on overnight.”
Wisdom Tooth Pain
We all know the aggravation a wisdom tooth can cause, but thankfully there are a few simple things you can do to soothe the area
“Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water as often as you can be good for disinfecting the area. Using a mouthwash which is suitable for gum problems and that you are not allergic to is also good. Keep the area cold by using a cool pack or a packet of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel and continue to clean your wisdom teeth thoroughly, even if it’s painful to do so.”
If you experience facial swelling or struggle to open your mouth properly you should seek dental advice.
It’s not normal to see blood when you brush your teeth, or for your gums to bleed during the day.
“This may be a result of gum disease and your gums will continue to bleed until your oral health improves.”
“So, make sure you clean in between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes and follow up with a thorough toothbrush clean twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.”
Experiencing sharp pain when biting or chewing? It could be a sign of tooth decay, a loose dental filling, or a crack in your tooth.
“If you’re experiencing sharp pain when biting down, avoid eating hard foods, like nuts or sweets, and ones which require a lot of chewing such as baguettes or tough meats. Also try to use the other side of your mouth for chewing where you can.”
If you have any type of facial swelling you should contact your dentist to be on the safe side.
“If the swelling is minor, your dentist may be able to prescribe you antibiotics over the phone. You can also use a cold compress or a packet of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to bring down the swelling. Alternatively, try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water repeatedly until the swelling reduces.”
If your vision or breathing is affected, or the swelling is causing you to have trouble swallowing, you should visit A&E.
We all get ulcers from time to time, but they should disappear within 10 days.
“To relieve the pain, use mouth ulcer relief gel, available from most supermarkets or pharmacies. Cleaning the area with warm salt water as much as possible is also very effective.”
If it hasn’t disappeared after two weeks, call your dental practice.
Bleeding after a Tooth Removal
After you’ve had a tooth removed you expect there to be a bit of pain and bleeding, but continuous bleeding is dangerous.
Rinsing your mouth with warm, salty water can speed up the healing process, and over-the-counter painkillers can take the edge off.
“If the socket is bleeding freely, bite down hard on a clean hankie or gauze if you have it for 20 minutes. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, call your local dental practice as soon as possible.”
The usual rules apply for people with orthodontics – avoid sugary foods and hard, sticky foods. You should also brush your teeth regularly.
If wires are digging into your gums please contact your Orthodontist.
“If your braces do break, or you lose your retainers, then contact your local dental practice immediately. If your fixed retainer comes off completely, continue to wear your removable retainer at night.”
The best way to avoid a dental emergency is prevention. Looking after your teeth properly will help keep them strong and ward off decay. Adults and children should be brushing twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, for two minutes.
He also recommends using electric toothbrushes as they are more effective and can reach spots ordinary toothbrushes can’t. Plus they’re kinder on your teeth and gums.
Successful Dental Emergency Management Relies Upon Experience & Expertise