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17 August 2023

Managing toothache at home

Tips to help manage dental problems until you are able to see a Dentist.


Anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen) can help reduce sensitivity from teeth. Combining paracetamol and ibuprofen has also been shown to be effective.

If you have no coronavirus symptoms, carry on taking ibuprofen as normal.

Continue to take paracetamol to treat your symptoms unless your doctor has told you it is unsuitable. PAINKILLERS should always be taken in accordance with instructions on the packet.


If there is a hole in your tooth, or a tooth has cracked and is now sensitive sharp and causing no pain. A temporary filling can be packed into the space. These are widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies.

To prevent decay from forming or worsening, a good cleaning with fluoride toothpaste and reducing sugar intake will help.

Pain or bleeding after an extraction

It is normal for some pain after an extraction; some pink spit/oozing is also normal. If the socket is bleeding, bite hard on gauze or a clean cloth for 20 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped, call us on 01162707803.

If you smoke or rinse too often after an extraction, there is a risk of a dry socket. This can be very painful, and regular painkillers are unlikely to help. Call the practice for an emergency appointment, as you may need antibiotics and a dressing.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums is not an emergency; this is usually caused by gum disease and will not stop until brushing improves. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, concentrating especially around the bleeding areas. You should also be flossing or using interdental brushing to clean in-between your teeth.

Wisdom teeth

Inflammation of the gum over an erupting tooth is usually the cause of wisdom tooth pain. Most flare-ups should settle in a few days to a week if managed with good homecare, such as:


If you have difficulty swallowing, swelling in your cheek or face or difficulty opening your mouth, or a flare-up has not settled, please call the practice to book an appointment to see your dentist.


Ulcers can be painful, but most ulcers heal within 7-10 days. If you have had an ulcer for more than 3 weeks, this should be assessed by your dentist or doctors.

Homecare for ulcers:

  • DIFFLAM (benzydamine) spray or mouthwash
  • RUBBING DENTURES – denture adhesive may help improve fit and reduce rubbing; remove dentures when possible if causing trauma.
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