COVID-19 Emergency Dental Advice

Even though we are unable to carry out any routine care, all of our teams are working hard, and all of our practices are committed to staying open for telephone advice should you need it.

Some of our practices are operating as Local Urgent Care Centres (LUDC) as part of a nationwide NHS initiative. We hope you are doing all you can to protect your general and oral health, but if you need some advice please do not hesitate to call your practice where a dentist will be more than happy to help if required.

When you call your practice for advice, a dentist will discuss your symptoms and ask questions to determine your Covid-19 risk status. They will either give you advice over the phone or refer you to a Local Urgent Dental Care Centre (LUDC), which may or may not be a Rodericks practice depending on the area you live in. The treatment at the LUDC is still limited to urgent care only to get you out of pain. It is important to note referral to an LUDC does not guarantee treatment.

Self-Care Advice

Here are some things that you can do at home to make yourself more comfortable if you find yourself in the following common situations;

Sensitive Teeth

You may have recurrent issues with sensitive teeth, this can be made worse due to acid in your diet. It’s really important to monitor the amount of acid you have in your diet, paying attention to fruit juices, certain fruits and drinks. Using a toothpaste for sensitivity such as Sensodyne can help if you use it twice daily and remember not to rinse afterwards, as the toothpaste works by staying on the teeth. You can even rub a small amount onto the most sensitive area and let it do its magic.

Bleeding Gums

Your gums may feel a little neglected as you haven’t had the opportunity to see your dentist/hygienist. If your gums are bleeding they need a little extra care, brush twice a day, and use an interdental cleaning aid. We also recommend that you avoid any acidic food which can further irritation.

Bleeding after an Extraction (tooth removal)

Some oozing after an extraction is normal. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. Don’t rinse yyour mouth and bite down firmly on the gauze provided or a clean piece of folded cotton for 15 minutes. Ensure the cotton/gauze is placed over the extraction site and is folded enough to create sufficient pressure when biting. If this does not stop the bleeding, please contact your dentist for advice.

Wisdom Toothache

We understand these can be particularly troublesome. Keep the area clean using a salty mouthwash as hot as you can tolerate, and brush the area as you normally would. Use painkillers that have successfully provided pain relief for you in the past without adverse effects, carefully read the back of the packet & stay within safe limits per 24-hour period. If you need any advice on other forms of pain relief, please speak to a local pharmacist or dial 111. If the area seems swollen there could be an infection which would require further attention. If in doubt contact your dentist for advice 

Lost Crown with no Associated Pain or Discomfort

There are some kits available to use to glue the crown back in but they a little fiddly. Speak to your dentist and they may advise you to leave the crown off if the tooth is stable. Please do not use any glue/cement which is not suitable for the mouth

Lost/Broken Filling with no Associated Pain or Discomfort

Some temporary filling kits are available but again, they can be a little tricky to use. Speak to your dentist and they may advise you to leave it as it, is and keep the area clean.

Ulcers

Foe some patients, ulcers can cause particular distress. We advise you to keep the area clean and we encourage you to use a salty mouthwash as hot as you can tolerate. You can buy Difflam (Benzydamine Hydrochloride) over the counter as a spray, lozenge or rinse, and use only if the ulcers are particularly painful and preventing you from swallowing. Use painkillers that have successfully provided pain relief for you in the past without adverse effects, carefully read the back of the packet & stay within safe limits per 24-hour period. If you need any advice on other forms of pain relief, please speak to a local pharmacist or dial 111. We advise that you avoid any spicy or acidic food that can delay healing. If the ulcer doesn’t heal within two weeks contact your dentist as soon as possible for further advice.

Issues with Braces

If you have an issue which is not causing pain or discomfort, we would advise you to persevere until we can resume routine activity. If your brace or denture is causing significant pain or discomfort contact your dentist who will advise you depending on the situation. It’s really important that you don’t bend any wires without advice from your dentist.

Issues with Dentures

We are unable to carry out repairs on dentures at the moment. We would advise you to leave your denture out of your mouth as much as possible if leaving them in causes discomfort.

Remember, if in doubt call your dentist for advice.

Dental Emergencies

We want you to be safe so if you have any of the following, we urge you to call your dentist immediately:

  • A visible swelling or a swelling that is causing pain
  • Significant toothache which is preventing sleeping or eating, or is associated with a significant swelling/fever that cannot be managed with painkillers
  • If you have had an extraction and the bleeding will not stop despite following the instructions given to you by your dentist
  • If you have an injury to the mouth resulting in bleeding, pain, swelling fractured teeth or loss of teeth

It is important to visit A&E as soon as possible if you have:

  • A swelling that is effecting your breathing, swallowing or vision and is restricting you from opening your mouth to more than two fingers width
  • You have been involved in trauma resulting in loss of consciousness, impaired vision, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or you are unable to close your teeth together

Prevention First

Now more than ever, prevention is key. Ofcourse not all dental emergencies are avoidable, however taking some steps can significantly reduce the risk of needing urgent dental care.

  • Brush for at least 2 minutes, twice-a-day using a toothpaste that contains at least 1350ppm-1500ppm Fluoride. Children under 3 years should use a smear of toothpaste, whilst children aged 3-6 years should use a small pea sized amount. It is important to brush last thing at night and at least on one other occasion in the day. After brushing, spit out the excess and remember not to rinse your mouth or use a mouthwash immediately after.
  • To ensure your gums stay healthy, anyone over the age of 12 should use interdental brushes between their teeth daily. For really tight spaces try dental floss or tape. Lockdown is the perfect time to experiment with interdental brushes and floss so you can incorporate this into your daily routine.
  • Aim to keep snacks between meals sugar free, and keep an eye out for those hidden sugars particularly in ready- made meals and ‘healthy’ snacks. Try and keep the sugar in yours and your children’s diet as low as possible by reducing the amount of sugar you consume, and the frequency of how often you consume sugar during the day; Eat less sugar, and eat it less often. Be mindful of hard and chewy food that can break weakened teeth/dislodge fillings.
  • Your orthodontist will have given you instructions on how to care for your braces when you had them fitted. It is important to follow these instructions so that you get the best result for your smile from your braces. Brushing twice a day and limiting the sugar in your diet is very important. You can use an interdental brush between the teeth to keep the areas around your brace and in-between your teeth clean, as well as using other brushes recommended by your orthodontist.
  • Ensure you remove your denture at night and clean it thoroughly using warm soapy water and a brush over a basin filled with water (in case you drop your denture: you don’t want it to hit a hard surface. If you prefer you can soak your denture overnight in water with added denture cleaning solution, please use the solution that is correct for the type of denture you have. Also, remember to be extra careful with your denture as it may be difficult to repair or replace the denture during this period.