Emergency Dental Guide

28 / 10 / 2020

Learn about some of the common dental problems and what might constitute an emergency, alongside some tips to help from home


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Emergency Dental Guide

We adhere to guidance from the Chief Dental Officer (England), which means we’re currently unable to offer face-to-face appointments, including emergency ones. However, we’re committed to ensuring you have access to information during this time. That’s why we’ve prepared an emergency advice guide to help you recognize a dental emergency and manage it from home until you can see a dentist. Remember, even though our doors are closed, we’re available by phone for advice.

Identifying a dental emergency is crucial. Some issues require urgent attention, while others can wait. Here’s what you need to know:

Urgent Symptoms:

  • Facial swelling extending to the eye or neck
  • Bleeding following an extraction that persists after 20 minutes
  • Bleeding due to trauma that doesn’t stop
  • Severe toothache accompanied by significant swelling or fever

Visit A&E if you experience:

  • Facial swelling affecting vision or breathing
  • Trauma resulting in loss of consciousness, double vision, or vomiting

Non-Urgent Issues:

  • Loose or lost crowns, bridges, or veneers
  • Broken, rubbing, or loose dentures
  • Bleeding gums occasionally
  • Broken, loose, or lost fillings
  • Chipped teeth without pain
  • Loose orthodontic wires not causing trauma

Managing Toothache:

Fillings or cracked teeth causing discomfort can be temporarily filled with products available at supermarkets or pharmacies. However, consult your dentist before attempting this. Desensitizing toothpaste or anaesthetic gels can also help alleviate pain.

Managing Wisdom Tooth Pain:

Most flare-ups can be managed with thorough home care. If you experience difficulty swallowing, swelling in your face or cheek, or trouble opening your mouth, contact your dentist.

Managing Ulcers:

Most ulcers heal within 7-10 days. Ensure excellent oral hygiene and use products like Difflam spray or mouthwash as needed. Denture adhesives may help if dentures cause ulcers.

Managing Pain or Healing After Extraction:

Take regular painkillers for up to seven days after an extraction. Some oozing is normal, but freely bleeding sockets require immediate attention.

Managing Bleeding Gums:

Improving brushing habits can stop bleeding gums. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth daily.

Managing a Lost Crown:

Consult your dentist for personalized advice. Temporary repair kits are available, but use them cautiously. Your dentist may offer guidance via video link or advise on whether it’s safe to leave the crown off until regular dental care resumes.

While these tips cover many issues, please contact your local practice if you’re unsure about anything. We’re here to help, even over the phone.

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