How to manage dental pain during self-isolation

With the country’s lockdown continuing we thought that we would look at some of the ways that you can manage dental pain yourself while in self-isolation. Of course, if the pain gets worse or you have other symptoms then you may need to seek medical help with one of the best options to dial NHS 111 for your dental emergencies


One of the most common forms of dental pain, toothache has many causes but generally the most common type of toothache is caused by bacteria forming and causing a cavity in your tooth. This will lead to sensitivity in the tooth and inflammation of the tooth’s nerve and ligaments that hold it in place. Some of the things that you can do to help reduce the pain caused by decay include:
• Temporary cavity filling – many supermarkets and pharmacies sell temporary filling kits which can help stop bacteria getting into your tooth and from damaging your tooth’s nerve.
• Anti-inflammatory tablets – these can help relieve discomfort and pain caused and help reduce the sensitivity you are feeling.
• Sensitive teeth toothpaste – a specialist sensitive teeth toothpaste can help to provide some relief and make your teeth less sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks.
• Anaesthetic gel – benzocaine is a local anaesthetic gel that is used for topical relief and can be rubbed around your gumline to help reduce toothache.
• Cold compress – a cold compress applied to the side of the face where the pain is will help to reduce inflammation and soothe the pain by helping to reduce the blood flow in the local area.

Dental infection

If you have a swelling in your gum next to your tooth or pus in your mouth, then this can be a sign of a dental infection. One of the best ways to help treat a dental infection is by rinsing your mouth out with warm salty water to try and draw out the puss and infection into your mouth. Add a spoonful of sea salt to warm water and stir until dissolved. Rinse around your mouth and hold it in your mouth next to the infected area. Do this several times until the pain subsides.
With an infection, it is important not to put a heat compress on your face as this could draw the infection into the tissue of your face and cause painful facial swellings as well as spreading the infection into facial tissue.

Gum pain

Trapped food or bacteria in your gum can lead to bleeding and painful gums. To help reduce the pain thoroughly clean the gumline using interdental brushes and floss as well as rinsing your mouth thoroughly with a good mouthwash to help get rid of any bacteria.

Broken or chipped teeth

As well as sensitivity, broken or chipped teeth can lead to cuts on your tongue and gums from sharp edges. Sensitivity can be tackled with a de-sensitising toothpaste or by using temporary filling material to cover the damage.

Mouth ulcers

Generally, most mouth ulcers should heal within a couple of weeks and can be simply treated with topical gel such as Bonjela or Orajel. They can point to an underlying medical condition so if you are suddenly getting several mouth ulcers then you need to get them checked out. In addition to topical cream you can also rinse your mouth with warm salty water to help ease pain and discomfort and keep your mouth clean.

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We are pleased to inform all patients seeking dental treatment that our practices are, and will remain open to cater to all your dental needs and maintain your oral health. We are available should you need advice, urgent care, or simply wish to attend for any other dental treatment. Our practices operate under the strictest government guidance and coronavirus protocols. Your safety and the safety of your family remains our priority. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
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