How to help your toothache at home
During this COVID-19 outbreak, Sloan Dental has decided to limit dental procedures to telephone advice and referral for emergencies only. Unfortunately, toothache waits for no man or virus. That’s why we’ve put together a series of informative articles about how to care for your teeth at home.
Toothaches can be excruciatingly painful, so it’s tempting to want to turn to antibiotics as quick-fix treatment. But if the tooth is sensitive to hot or cold, that means there’s probably decay. Antibiotics won’t help – a professional must remove and fill the decay. In the meantime, you can try the following measures to ease your symptoms.
Don’t make it worse
The most common cause of toothache is cavities caused by tooth decay. If this is the case, you don’t want to make the cavity worse. That’s why it’s important to reduce your sugar intake, especially beverages with high sugar content like fruit and fizzy juice. You also want to keep your oral hygiene routine in tip-top condition and use a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth.
Get temporary pain relief at home
Painkillers like paracetamol (Panadol) and ibuprofen (Nurofen) can provide some relief from pain. There is currently no evidence that ibuprofen makes COVID-19 worse, but if you have symptoms or want to air on the side of caution it’s best to stick with paracetamol. Remember – always follow the instructions and never exceed the recommended dose.
If you have an obvious cavity or crack in your tooth, you can get a temporary filling from most supermarkets and pharmacies. Toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth like Sensodyne Prepare and Protect can also help.
Is your toothache a dental emergency?
If you have any of the following symptoms, please telephone the practice, and a member of the team will provide advice, or where necessary arrange an emergency appointment. Please do not attend the practice without a pre-booked appointment.
- Severe pain,
- A facial swelling, or
- Trauma or uncontrolled bleeding.
If you have facial swelling that is affecting your vision or breathing, or trauma causing loss of consciousness, double vision, or vomiting, we advise you to go straight to A&E.
If your toothache is caused by a broken tooth or lost crown, take a look at our article “How to deal with a broken tooth at home”.