What to do in a dental emergency
There are some simple tips that can help you with a dental emergency if you can’t access help or prefer to wait until we reopen surgery. The following is a guide to help you:
- Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be taken alternately 3 hourly.
- Rinse mouth with warm salt water and clean between teeth with brushes or floss.
- Cold compress on outside of mouth and occasional cold water rinse sometimes helps.
- Avoid lying down as this increases pain.
- Oil of cloves on cotton bud into a cavity may help.
- Temporary cements from chemists are now very good.
- Dry tooth with cotton wool or tissue.
- Add cement and bite together. Don’t worry if some excess. Sugar free gum or wax from cheese are alternatives.
- Sharp edges can be smoothed with a flexible nail file. Some pieces may come away if weak.
Lost crowns and bridges
- Temporary cement from chemist. Check crown or bridge seats first otherwise leave out.
- If fit and bite are good without cement add a little cement and seat. Bite gently together.
- Take out at night and repeat the next day.
- Do not use superglue.
- Warm salt water rinse several times daily.
- Hot water bottle to side of face may help.
- Remove any loose clot with tissues.
- Bite on supplied gauze for 20 mins.
- A moistened tea bag can also be carefully bitten on if gauze unsuccessful.
- Attend casualty if no sign of stopping.
Knocked out tooth
- Children’s baby teeth leave out.
- Permanent teeth rinse root in water only and put back if straightforward. Do not scrub! Gently bite together until arriving at dentist. Store in milk if can’t reposition.
- Worst situation as tooth is still attached to gum.
- Remove loose fragment if not too painful.
- Sugar free gum or cement in gap and squeeze together with finger and thumb.
- Avoid any solid food. Soup only.
Broken orthodontic wires
- Orthodontic wax or cheese wax over sharp edges.
- Ibuprofen and antibiotics can interact with warfarin.
- Asthma symptoms worse with Ibuprofen.
- Patients with stomach problems may need to avoid Ibuprofen.
- Avoid aspirin in children.
- If in doubt advise paracetamol only.
- Co codamol may be more effective than paracetamol if paracetamol/Ibuprofen combination not working.