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What is the problem?


Broke my tooth/crown/filling

  • Possible causes

Fractures caused by chewing and biting hard.

Teeth grinding and clenching.

Underlying decay.

De-bonded crown, veneer or filling.

  • How to manage issue in the meantime

Keep area clean from food impacting in the cavity.

Avoid chewing on the problem side.

  • Appointment urgency

You need to see a dentist as soon as possible during normal opening hours to stabilise the area and to arrange for a permanent restoration.

Do not be tempted to ignore the issue – this can lead to pain and much more complex and expensive treatment.


Dull toothache

  • Possible causes

Chronic abscess due to decay or tooth dying.
Current root canal requiring re-treatment.
Root fracture.
Trauma when biting together.

  • How to manage issue in the meantime

Pain killers if required.

  • Appointment urgency

Arrange to see your dentist at your earliest convenience.


Severe toothache

  • Possible causes

Chronic tooth abscess due to decay, failed root canal treatment or other cause flaring up into an acute stage.
Acute abscess due to tooth fracture, decay, trauma or changes in the way teeth bite together especially after the placement of a new filling.

  • How to manage the issue in the meantime

Anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Appointment urgency

Arrange for an emergency appointment and don’t delay seeing your dentist. Doing so may cause even more problems for you.


Cold sensitivity

  • Possible causes

Leaking or broken filling or fractured tooth.
New decay setting in.
Secondary decay around a current filling.
Trauma, or after the placement of a new filling.
Vigorous tooth brushing causing sensitive tooth necks.
After seeing a hygienist.

  • How to manage issue in the meantime

Desensitising toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Anti-inflammatory drugs.
Using a much softer toothbrush.

  • Appointment urgency

Routine appointment for a dental examination, depending on severity.


Pain/bleeding after tooth removal

  • Possible causes

Disruption of the healing process of the socket. Either the blood clot got washed out with a subsequent infection of the bone or an artery opened up and has started bleeding.  A healthy blood clot is essential for the healing process.  Diabetics will have impaired healing and have to take antibiotics when a tooth is removed.  If you take blood thinning medication, like aspirin, this will also affect the clotting process.

Appointment urgency

You have to contact the surgery if pain develops so the socket can be cleaned and re-dressed.  You will likely need antibiotics as well. Uncontrollable bleeding has to be dealt with by your dentist or an A&E department.

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  • How to manage issue in the meantime

Recovery will be uneventful, providing you follow the instructions:

  • Do not rinse mouth out for at least 30 minutes after the extraction.

  • Do not chew on the side of the extraction for the rest of the day.

  • Do not perform any strenuous activities for the rest of the day.

  • Keep your head elevated when you lie down for the next 24 hours.

  • Gently rinse mouth with hot salt water (1 tbs. /glass), three times daily, for five days.

  • Do not try to rinse or clean the socket out. It will disturb the blood clot, which will lead to pain (dry socket).

  • If bleeding persists wet a tea bag in water, squeeze excess water out and place the tea bag over the socket. Close together to apply pressure for at least ten minutes. You can use a linen compression pad as an alternative.

  • If you need to take painkillers, avoid aspirin. Use your regular painkillers or as advised by your dentist.

  • If pain develops three days after the extraction, or if pain persists, contact the Practice.

  • Please note: A minimum charge will be payable for a post-extraction appointment.

  • It is possible for bits of hard tissue (bone) to work its way out of the socket. This is not usually a concern.

  • Remember to take your antibiotics if you were asked to do so, e.g. diabetes sufferers.

A healthy, clean mouth heals quicker.  Smoking and alcohol will delay the healing process and possibly lead to complications.

Disclaimer

The information contained on this page should only act as a general indication of the causes of dental and facial pain and discomfort and not be used as a diagnostic tool. You should always consult with your dentist. You should follow the advice of your dentist and attend for regular dental examinations and oral hygiene visits.