Due to COVID-19, only patients deemed as emergencies will be able to receive dental care during this self-isolation period (see emergency dentist blog for more information). If you do not qualify as an emergency patient but are experiencing tooth pain, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce irritation.
Here are a few things you can try to help manage pain from teeth, gums, ulcers, and/or broken teeth until you visit our dental practice.
How to manage pain from teeth while self-isolating?
- Take Anti Inflammatory Tablets
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and generic) and Naproxen (Aleve and generic) work particularly well against dental pain because they reduce inflammation in the traumatized areas of your mouth. Although, despite there being no definitive evidence that Ibuprofen exacerbates Coronavirus conditions, experts have recommended refraining from taking the anti-inflammatory drug. So, Naproxen is probably best if you have experienced any symptoms. It is imperative that you do not exceed the recommended dosage.
- Utilize Desensitizing toothpaste
Incorporating desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne repair can be a fruitful measure to combat tooth pain. Toothpaste such as Sensodyne work in two distinctive ways. Firstly, it builds a protective layer over the sensitive areas and it also assists with the removal of plaque bacteria to generate good oral health. In turn, this may help combat any irritation or pain you are experiencing whilst isolating.
- Use Anesthetic Gel on Infected Area
Anesthetic gels are another short-term preventative step in combating tooth-pain without seeking dental care. They tend to provide fast-acting pain relief to patient discomfort. The anesthetic gel should be applied directly to the affected area. Use the smallest amount necessary to relieve pain and use it no more than the number of times recommended daily. For an adult, product labels generally recommend using only small amounts, at most 4 times daily, for a maximum of 7 days. For infants under one year of age, as little as ¼ teaspoon of 7.5% gel (100mg).
- Keep your head elevated to Reduce Toothache
Sleeping at night may be extremely discomforting with a throbbing pain in your mouth. A tip would be to keep your head elevated at night when you lie down to go to sleep. Find an agreeable position in bed, which will reduce the blood pressure in your head – decreasing the overall pain in your mouth. An extra pillow can help keep your head elevated when you sleep.
- Rinse Mouth with Salt and Hot Water
Rinsing your mouth with salt and hot water can help to reduce inflammation in your mouth and fight bacteria by creating an acidic environment. The mixture of salt and hot water can help to neutralize the acids in the throat that is produced by bacteria, maintaining an overall healthy pH balance. It can also help to dislodge bits of stuck food that may be causing pain, helping you to alleviate irritation and inflammation in your mouth.
- Use a Cold Compress
A cold compress can help reduce pain you may be experiencing in your mouth by restricting blood flow to the injured area, subsequently reducing swelling and irritation.
Tip: Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the infection into the tissues in your face rendering swellings.
- Avoid specific food and drinks
You may already have some food aversions due to the pain you are experiencing currently. However, it is imperative that the foods and drinks you do take are neither too hot, cold, acidic, or sugary to ward off any additional pain in your mouth. It is advisable to avoid citrus fruits and juices, salty or spicy foods, and acidic foods like tomatoes. Do not drink carbonated or caffeinated drinks and refrain from consuming beer, wine, liquor, or any other type of alcohol.
How to manage pain from gums while self-isolating?
If there is bacteria or food debris trapped between the gum and the tooth, this can cause pain.
- Clean the area & rinse thoroughly
As always, it is essential that you practice good oral hygiene, particularly if you have toothache. Make sure to brush at least twice a day with a sensitive toothpaste and ensure your mouth is thoroughly clean.
How to manage pain from ulcers while self-isolating?
Whilst Mouth ulcers are common and caused by a number of factors, in some cases, it can be a sign of underlying medical conditions. You are advised to seek dental care if you have an ulcer that has not healed in over two weeks.
To reduce the discomfort, you can try:
- Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel, Bonjela or Anbesol
To help with the healing of ulcers, you can try:
- Apply Gengigel – can be effective as well as in soothing the pain
- Rinsing the mouth with salt and hot water
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms which are causing mouth pain, please call our dental practice immediately!
- A broken or knocked-out tooth – we recommend that you rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean and put a cold compress on the face to reduce swelling. Immediately contact our office.
- Objects caught between teeth – we recommend that you gently try and remove the object with dental floss and we strongly recommend not to try and remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument. If you are not successful, contact our office.
- Toothache that forces you to take pain medication (ibuprofen or tylenol) every four hours
- Lost/broken a temporary or permanent crown or bridge causing irritation.