With much of the country in lockdown, some will be thinking ‘what do I do if I have a dental emergency?’ Fortunately, one of the country’s leading dentists has offered some expert advice and guidance.
Although the Government and medical professionals have offered some excellent information address most matters, there still some aspects that need clarifying and one of these areas is what to do if you have a dental emergency.
Dr Richard Marques, who graduated with distinction from Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas institute of dentistry has provided some information about what to do if you have a dental emergency and your dentist is closed.
Firstly, it’s important to understand whether or not the situation is an emergency or not. Issues such as a lost filling, dull toothache, mild sensitivity or a small chip in the 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 and 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 100% necessary and advised by a medical professional.
Try to stay calm as stress will cause the body to react in a way that will worsen the symptoms. Below are a few things you can do at home to try and ease the situation:
- If you knock a tooth out, place it in a glass of milk until it can be treated (the milk helps 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
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