top of page

Emergency Home Care During Covid-19 Lockdown

This is unprecedented times that we are living in and while the practice is closed it seems very useful to able to provide some information on dealing with some common dental problems you may be experiencing. While the doors of the practice may be closed we will still be available to accept phone calls and emails to be able to provide you with advice as needed.



If the tooth is extremely sensitive to hot or cold, antibiotics will not help. The decay must be removed and the tooth filled. These home measures may help make the symptoms manageable until care can be accessed. Good cleaning with fluoride toothpaste and reducing sugar intake will help stop decay and getting any worse.

If there is a hole in the tooth, or a tooth has cracked and is now sensitive/sharp, a temporary filling can be packed into the space. These are widely available from supermarkets, pharmacies or online.

Desensitising/sensitive toothpaste (like Sensodyne repair and protect) can also help to ease this sensitivity to hot and cold. Rub toothpaste directly onto the affected area and do not rinse afterwards.


Anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen) can help reduce sensitivity from teeth. Combining paracetamol and ibuprofen 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. So until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor told you that paracetamol is not suitable for you.

Painkillers should always be taken in accordance with instructions on the packet. taking too many tablets, or taking medication in correctly will not improve your symptoms, and may cause serious stomach and liver injury which can be life threatening.

Wisdom tooth pain

Wisdom tooth pain is usually inflammation of the gum over the erupting tooth caused by food and plaque accumulation under the gum. This is often worsened by trauma from 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 or warm salty mouthwash, avoid use of Corsodyl for more than 1 week as this may cause staining.

  • Soft Diet, Soft food to reduce trauma from biting.

  • Painkillers, ibuprofen or paracetamol following packet instructions.

  • 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.


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. Some options to help manage ulcers:

  • Corsodyl mouthwash or warm salty mouthwash, avoid use of Corsodyl for more than 1 week as this may cause staining.

  • Excellent cleaning, even if it is painful to brush, the mouth must be kept clean to encourage healing and prevent more ulcers forming. Be gentle and use a soft/baby toothbrush.

  • Difflam (Benzydamine spray or mouthwash), this is a topical anaesthetic that can be used to numb the ulcers and to be used as required.

  • Soft Diet, Soft food to reduce trauma from biting.

  • Painkillers, ibuprofen or paracetamol following packet instructions.

  • Rubbing dentures, Denture adhesives like fixodent may help secure a loose denture and provide some cushioning for rough areas. Remove dentures when possible if causing trauma or if there are obvious sharp edges then these can be removed with an emery board.

Pain or bleeding after an extraction

Continue to take regular painkillers for several days after 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.

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 and you should contact your dentist for assistance.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding from gums is NOT a dental emergency. It is usually due to gum disease from poor brushing and will not improve until brushing improves. Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes, concentrating especially on the areas that are bleeding. Use floss or te-pe brushes to clean between your teeth every day.

Lost Crown

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 may 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.

  4. Crowns should be replaced using a dental cement from a pharmacy like Recapit. Do not use superglue to fit your crown.

  5. Once you have practiced 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 it into place.

  6. Remove any extra cement with a toothpick and floss between your teeth to make sure they do not stick together.

307 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page