Patient Safety & Covid 19

Managing Toothache During Self-Isolation

If you are self-isolating and unable to leave the house then the last thing you want is to develop toothache. The practice is open for emergencies but we recommend everyone, especially those over 70 or at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 follow stringent social distancing measures. If you have symptoms of Coronavirus (new persistent cough and/or fever you should not attend the practice).

If you are not able to see us, there are a few things you can try to manage the pain until you can. It is unclear at this point when normal service will resume. If you have a swelling on your face or difficulty swallowing, this requires urgent professional attention so don’t be afraid to contact us for advice.

Bleeding Gums: 

  • This is usually the result of gingivitis or gum disease. Gums will not stop bleeding until your oral hygiene improves. Brush your teeth and gums twice a day, spending extra time on the area where you are experiencing bleeding.  
  • Use TePe brushes or floss to clean in between your teeth 

Broken teeth:

  • 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. 
  • Emergency Dental kits can be bought to patch up the tooth at home 
  • The sensitivity can be reduced by rubbing a de-sensitising toothpaste onto the tooth or placing a temporary filling material over the broken corner until a more definitive filling can be placed. 
  • If you have signs and symptoms of an acute infection such as facial swelling, trouble breathing or swallowing or your eyes swelling closed this requires urgent professional attention. 

Denture rubbing or loose: 

  • Consider usinga fixative for loose dentures like fixadent 
  • Seabond denture pads may also make a denture more comfortable or stable 
  • Any sharp or rough areas can be adjusted at home with an emery board 
  • Leave your denture out if it is too sore to wear 

Pain From Ulcers: 

  • Mouth ulcers can be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as iron deficiency so shouldn’t be ignored. Any mouth ulcer which doesn’t heal in two weeks should be checked by a dentist. 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene 
  • Rinse with salt water to prevent infection 
  • To reduce the discomfort, you can try a topical anaesthetic gel such as Orajel 
  • To help with healing of ulcers, Gengigel can be effective as well as soothing the pain. 


  • Teeth can be sensitive due to receeding gums, large fillings or decay 
  • Try placing sensitive toothpaste on the senitive areas and leaving it on overnight 
  • User regular painkillers if you need them 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene and limit acidic food/drinks in your diet 


  • Rinse your mouth with warm salty mouthwash to try and draw out the infection into your mouth. Dissolve a spoonful of sea salt in warm water and rinse around your mouth/ hold it in your mouth next to the infected area. Repeat several times until the pain subsides. 
  • Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the infection into the tissues in your face causing external swellings. 
  • If you do have a swelling, it is likely you will need to see a Dentist 


  • Toothache may be caused by decay. Good oral hygiene with a flouride toothpaste and reducing your intake of sugary foods will help to ensure the decay does not advance 
  • Please take regular painkillers if you require them. Anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAIDs) can reduce the sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both – however, there are some reports that Ibuprofen may increase the symptoms of COVID-19 so Paracetamol alone is probably best if you have symptoms. Make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dosage! 
  • Desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne Repair and protect or Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief can help. 
  • Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel applied to the area can help to numb the pain. 
  • Clove Oil – This essential oil can be found in health food stores and you can apply it onto the painful tooth with a cotton bud. This works well if there is an exposed nerve due to deep decay but for it to work, you need to place it onto the exposed nerve 
  • 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. An extra pillow at night time can help 
  • Keep the area cold- reducing blood flow to an area will reduce the inflammation and pain. Do not apply ice directly to a tooth as this can increase the pain as toothaches are quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. 

Please don’t be afraid to contact us for advice.

Get in Touch

For more information about managing toothache during self-isolation at Acton Vale Dentists, please get in touch by calling us on 020 8749 3267 or by completing our Online Form

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