Here's what to do at home if you've got a dental emergency - according to a dentist

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:45 pm

Due to current restrictions, many dentists can no longer take face-to-face appointments for dental emergencies, and instead have resorted to webcam consultations.

If you find that you are having issues with your teeth, Dr Richard Marques (who graduated with distinction from Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas institute of dentistry) has shared some advice on how to deal with dental problems at home.

Is the situation serious?

Firstly, it’s important to understand whether or not the dental situation is emergency or not. Issues such as a lost filling, dull toothache, mild sensitivity or a small chip in tooth can all be treated at a later date.

Examples of more serious issues which would constitute an emergency include:

- Gums that will not stop bleeding- Extreme tooth sensitivity or toothache causing constant pain- A tooth that has been knocked out/is jagged- Swollen cheeks/gums and general extreme pain from swelling or possible infection

Should you experience any of the above, try calling your dentist in the first instance, as they may have set up a helpline to offer advice. If symptoms continue, call the NHS helps service on 111.

If the situation is serious, you may need to go to A&E - however, especially at this time you should only do so if absolutely necessary, and advised by a medical professional.

At home remedies

Try to stay calm, as stress will cause the body to react in way that will worsen the symptoms. Here are a few things you can do at home to try and ease the situation.

If your tooth has been knocked out, place it in a glass of milk until it can be treated. The milk helps to keep an acid-alkali ratio, meaning the tooth won’t swell.

Take paracetamol (or if safe to do so, ibuprofen) to help reduce the immediate pain.

Hold an ice pack (or a pack of frozen veg) on areas of swelling.

Dissolve salt in warm water and swish around the mouth for 60 seconds to help remove bacteria and clear infection.

Rinsing for 30 seconds with a hydrogen peroxide solution will also act as an antibacterial mouthwash for pain and inflammation.

Dab a small amount of clove oil on the affected area to help reduce pain.