corona update

Managing Dental Needs During The Lockdown

We have had to adapt the way we treat people by using video and electronic consultation. Please do not visit the clinic unless it has been agreed with a member of staff. The advice that we are following is changing daily and our website is being updated to reflect those changes.

If you have swelling of the face that extends to eye or neck, bleeding following a lost or extracted tooth and does not stop after 20 minutes pressure, bleeding due to trauma, a broken tooth that is causing you pain, significant toothache preventing sleep or eating - then we may be able to help you with a prescription for antibiotics if appropriate. Please call to find out more.

If you have a problem with crowns, bridges, fillings, orthodontic wires or dentures, please follow the guidance below

Painkillers

Anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen) can help reduce sensitivity from teeth. Combining ibuprofen and paracetamol has also been shown to be effective.

There is currently no strong evidence that drugs like ibuprofen can make COVID-19 worse.

If you have no coronavirus symptoms carry on taking ibuprofen as normal.

Until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you. Painkillers should always be taken in accordance with instructions on the packet. Taking too many tablets, or taking medications incorrectly will not improve your symptoms and can cause serious stomach and liver injury which can be life-threatening.

 

Toothache

If your tooth is extremely sensitive to hot or cold, antibiotics will not help! The decay must be removed and filled. These home measures may help make symptoms manageable until care can be accessed.

  • Good cleaning with fluoride toothpaste and reducing sugar intake will help stop decay from getting any worse.
  • If there is a hole in the tooth, or a tooth has cracked and is now sensitive/sharp, a temporary filling material can be packed into the hole. - These are widely available from supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Desensitising/sensitive toothpaste (like Sensodyne repair and protect) can help. Rub toothpaste directly on the affected area and do not rinse afterwards. Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel can help ease the pain.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom tooth pain is usually due to inflammation of the gum. The tissue covering the erupting tooth can be worsened by trauma caused by biting.

  • Most flare-ups can be managed with good home care and should settle in a few days to a week
  • Excellent cleaning (even if it is painful to brush, the area must be kept clean to encourage healing)
  • Corsodyl mouthwash (avoid use for more than 1 week as this may cause staining)
  • A soft diet (soft foods will reduce trauma from biting)
  • Painkillers (ibuprofen or paracetamol following packet instructions)
  • Warm saltwater mouth rinse (saltwater can help prevent infection)

If you have difficulty swallowing, swelling in your face or cheek, or difficulty opening your mouth, call your dentist. You may need antibiotics if the infection is spreading.

Ulcers

Although painful, most ulcers will heal within 7 – 10 days. Non-healing ulcers/oral lesions present for more than 3 weeks should be assessed by a dentist or doctor.

  • Warm salty mouthwash
  • Excellent cleaning (even if it is painful to brush, the mouth must be kept clean to encourage healing by stimulating blood flow to the area and help prevent more ulcers forming. Be gentle and use a soft toothbrush).
  • Difflam (Benzydamine) spray or mouthwash as needed.
  • A soft diet (soft food will reduce trauma from biting)
  • Painkillers (ibuprofen or paracetamol following packet instructions)
  • Rubbing Dentures (Denture adhesives like Fixodent may help secure a loose denture. Any sharp edges can be removed using an emery board. Remove dentures when possible if causing trauma).
  • Corsodyl mouthwash (avoid use for over 1 week as may cause straining).

Pain or bleeding after extraction

Continue to take regular painkillers for several days after an extraction, it is normal for the pain to be at its worst at day 3 – 4. Some pink spit/oozing is normal after an extraction, but if the socket is bleeding freely, bite hard on gauze or a clean hankie for 20 minutes. If bleeding has not stopped, call your dentist.

 

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding from gums is NOT an emergency. Bleeding gums are usually due to gum disease, and will not stop until brushing improves. Brush 2x a day with fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes, concentrating especially on the areas that are bleeding. Use floss or TePe brushes to clean between your teeth every day. If you smoke or rinse too soon after an extraction, you risk a dry socket. This can be very painful and regular painkillers are unlikely to be effective. You should call your dentist for an emergency appointment. Antibiotics will not solve this, as a dressing is needed to cover the exposed bone.

 

Lost Crown

  • Clean and check the crown. If the crown is mostly hollow, you can attempt to re-cement it at home if you feel confident to do so.
  • Remove any debris from the crown, you can use something like the tip of a paperclip to scrape the old cement away. Clean your tooth thoroughly. All debris must be removed from both the crown and the tooth for it to seat properly.
  • Check the crown fits without cement. Check that the bite feels correct, if the tooth feels too tall, it is not fitted correctly, double-check for debris. NEVER force a crown or post onto or into your tooth, this can cause the root to fracture. If you cannot get the crown to fit, keep the tooth as clean as possible and wait to see your dentist.
  • Crowns should be replaced using dental cement from a pharmacy like Recapit. DO NOT USE SUPERGLUE or FIXADENT to fit your crownOnce you have practised placing the crown, dry the tooth and crown, mix the cement as instructed on the packet and fill the crown. Place the crown directly onto the tooth. Bite firmly to press into place. Remove any extra cement with a toothpick and floss between your teeth to make sure they do not stick together. Allow an hour before eating to ensure the cement has cured completely.