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Managing toothache at home


NHS England and the Department of Health have instructed dental practeces to prioritise urgent treatment where possible.
The following guidance is to support you in helping managing minor symptoms at home.
This guidance is to reduce the risk of virus transmission to you, our stuff, and our patients.


You need urgent dental treatment if you have:

  • Facial swelling extending to eye or neck or floor of the mouth
  • Bleeding following an extraction that does not stop after 20 mins of solid pressure with a gauze
  • Bleeding due to treeth
  • Several broken tooth, or tooth fallen out with pain
  • Toothache that is preventing sleep, eating combined with swelling or fever that is not manageble with pain killers

You need to go straight to A&E if you have:

  • Facial swelling affecting your vision, breathing or preventing your mouth opening more than to fingers width
  • Trauma causing loss of consciousness, double vision or vormitting


Non-urgent dental care

May need to wait until your dentist can see you or better until your dentist has an apointment availble:

  • Loose or lost crowns, bridges or veneers
  • Broken, rubbing or loose dentures
  • Bleeding gums
  • Broken, loose or lost fillings
  • Chipped teeth with no pain
  • Loose orthodontic wires


Pain Management

  • Over the counter pain killers can help (take in accordance with instruction on the packet)
  • Patients who have conformed COVID-19, or believe they have COVID-19, should take paracetamol in preference to ibuprofen.


Bleeding gums

  • Bledding from gums is NOT a dental emergency. Bleeding gums are usally due to gum disease, and will not stop until brushing improves.
  • Brush 2x a day with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes. Concentrate espacially on the areas that are bleeding. Use floss or tepe brushes to clean between your teeth every day.


Wisdom tooth pain

Most flare up and thoroughly can be managed with good home care.

  • Thorugh cleaning (even if painful)
  • Corsodyl mouthwash (max 1 week use)
  • Soft diet
  • Warm salty mouthwash
  • Pain killers


If you have difficulty swallowing or swelling in your cheek, you may need antibiotics.

or NHS 111.


Tooth sensitivity

If you have extreme sinsitivity to hot or cold, sensitive toothpaste can help.

Rub toothpaste directly on the affected area and don‘t rinse afterwards.

Anaesthetic gel can also help ease the pain.



Most ulcers heal within 7-10 days. To ease the pain, try:

  • Warm salty mouthwash
  • Difflam (Benzydamine) spray or mouthwash
  • Thorough cleaning (even if painful)
  • Corsodyl mothwash (max 1 week use)
  • Soft diet
  • Pain killers
  • Rubbing dentures


Denture adhesives like Fixodent may help secure a loose denture. Sharp edges can be filed using an emery board.