Managing Tooth
Problems At Home

Tips to help you manage dental problems at home during the COVID -19 Outbreak

If the tooth is extremely sensitive to hot or cold, antibiotics may not help. The decay must be removed and filled. This treatment is not currently available. 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 can be packed into the space. 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 pain – follow the manufactures instructions carefully.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom tooth pain is usually due to inflammation of the gum over the erupting tooth, which can be 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 – avoid use for >2weeks as may cause staining.

Soft diet – may reduce trauma from biting. Warm salty mouthwash Painkillers – ibuprofen or paracetamol – follow 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. These measures can help with discomfort.

Warm salty mouthwash

Soft diet – soft food may reduce trauma from biting. Warm salty mouthwash Painkillers – ibuprofen or paracetamol -follow packet instructions.

Excellent cleaning – even if it is painful to brush, the mouth must be kept clean to encourage healing and prevent more ulcers forming.

Difflam (Benzydamine) spray or mouthwash as needed.

Pain or bleeding after an 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 saliva/oozing is normal after an extraction but if the socket is bleeding freely, bite hard on gauze or a clean handkerchief for 20 minutes. If the 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. You should call your dentist for advice.

Bleeding Gums

Pain or bleeding after an extraction. Bleeding from your gums is NOT a dental emergency. Bleeding gums are usually due to gum disease, and will not stop until brushing improves. Brush 2x daily with 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 so 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.

4. Crowns should be replaced using a dental cement from a pharmacy. DO NOT USE SUPERGLUE or FIXADENT to fit your crown.

5. Once you are 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.