Dental pain and problems are inconvenient at any time, but there is no worse time to deal with a dental issue than while you are at home in self-isolation. At Elysian Dental, we understand that the sudden COVID-19 restrictions that have been put in place by the Australian Government may be impacting you now, and you may not be able to leave your home at this time. With this in mind, we have created the below guide on how to manage common dental issues at home until you are able to visit your dentist.
There can be many reasons for a pain in your tooth, however one of the most common causes can be decay of a tooth. Decay is a bacterial infection of the tooth and if the bacteria gets close to the nerve in the tooth, it can cause acute sensitivity. As the infection grows it can cause painful inflammation of the nerve and also the ligaments holding the tooth in position. The decay needs to be removed or if bacteria has caused irreversible damage to the nerve, then a filling is required or the tooth may need to be extracted. To help manage the problem at home, there are a few things you can do that that may help reduce the pain until you can make a dental appointment:
- Try packing a temporary filling material into the cavity space. Temporary filling kits are widely available from supermarkets or pharmacies.
- Anti-inflammatory tablets can reduce the pain and sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be most beneficial. Don’t stop taking the anti-inflammatory medication when the pain stops as it will come back again. The aim is to reduce the inflammation of the nerve in the tooth which is causing the pain.
- Desensitising toothpaste from your local pharmacy or supermarket may help.
- Anaesthetic mouth gels can help to numb the pain.
- Keep your head elevated at night time. When you lie down to go to sleep, the blood pressure in the tooth can increase which increases pain.
- Keep the area cold. Reducing blood flow to the area will reduce the inflammation and pain. Note: do not apply ice directly to a tooth as this can increase the pain as toothaches are quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
If there is an infection (swelling next to the tooth or pus discharging), rinse your mouth with warm salty water to try and draw out the infection. Repeat this several times until the pain subsides.
Broken Tooth or Filling
If a tooth or filling has chipped or cracked, this can cause sensitivity from the tooth being exposed or pain to your tongue from sharp edges. The sensitivity can be reduced by:
- Rubbing a de-sensitising toothpaste onto the tooth.
- Placing a temporary filling material over the broken corner until a more definitive filling can be placed.
If a tooth has been knocked out completely, wash the tooth and handle it only by the crown (the white part). Try to re-implant the tooth and bite down on a handkerchief to hold it in position. If this is not possible, store the tooth in milk and call for an emergency dental appointment.
Painful Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are most likely to be painful whilst erupting through the gums at the back of your mouth. Most pain from erupting wisdom teeth can be managed at home and should settle down within a few days.
- Thorough cleaning should still be frequent, even if it is painful to brush. The area must be kept clean to encourage healing.
- Warm salty water can aid in the healing of the gums around the erupting wisdom tooth.
- Eating soft foods will reduce the trauma encountered whilst biting.
- Paracetamol may help reduce the pain.
While it is important to stay at home at this time, if you are experiencing facial swelling extending to the eye or neck, bleeding that won’t subside, intolerable pain preventing sleeping and eating, or a fever that cannot be managed with painkillers, your issue may require urgent assistance so please do not wait, get in touch with us today.
Elysian Dental is the premier Armadale Dentist trusted by families for expert dental care. If you have any questions regarding in-home dental care or to speak with one of friendly dentists, give us a call today on (08) 6396 2116.