Wisdom Tooth Pain

5 signs you may need emergency dental care

Oral injuries can vary from mild to extreme. They can also take on many different forms, be caused by different factors, and occur at any time of the day.

When faced with an oral injury, some people are not sure whether they need to seek dental treatment right away or simply wait for a more appropriate time to go to their dentist.

In this article, we’ll clear things up so that in case you do sustain an oral injury, you know how to act accordingly and not make your condition any worse. Below are a few signs that indicate your oral injury is severe and needs urgent medical attention.

What is considered to be a dental emergency?

1. Your pain is severe
Pain is usually measured on a scale of one to ten. While this is a subjective matter that will depend on your tolerance to pain, pain levels in the upper range indicate that your oral injury needs immediate attention.

You cannot afford to wait as such a high level of pain means that you will have difficulty eating, sleeping, and carrying out any of your important responsibilities. Even if you feel that the pain subsides on its own, it might indicate that something is terribly wrong and you need to take immediate action so that the problem is swiftly resolved.

2. Your gums won’t stop bleeding
Bleeding gums are a sign of poor dental hygiene, but it can also indicate underlying health issues that need urgent attention. While some bleeding might be considered normal in a few situations, you should consider it as a dental emergency if your gums are bleeding profusely and they show no signs of stopping,

3. Your tooth is loose or has completely fallen out
Loose teeth are never normal for any adult. Even if there is no pain involved, a loose tooth could be another sign of more serious health conditions that you shouldn’t overlook. If you feel that your teeth are giving way, you should act fast so that the problem doesn’t worsen. In the event that your tooth has fallen out completely, you should keep the tooth in case it might be restored.

4. Your gums are swollen
Swelling around the gums and mouth area is a dangerous condition that can get in the way of eating and breathing Because these are activities that are essential to survival, you need to seek dental care right away if the swelling is severe and shows no signs of going away.

5. Your tooth is cracked or chipped
Whether or not the tooth is causing you pain, a damaged tooth can also constitute a dental emergency. Tooth fragments may remain in your mouth, causing further damage and trauma that might not be easily reserved. In such an event, the dentist will likely repair your tooth back to its original state, but you must see them as early as possible to better facilitate the restoration process.


If you experience any of the signs listed above, seek dental treatment as quickly as you can. It’s important that you do so in order to prevent further complications and to hasten the healing process.

If you have a dental emergency or are in need of other dental treatments, get in touch with us to schedule an appointment.

Patient Safety

We are looking forward to the day when we can see our patients again and are busy preparing.

To ensure we are safe for everyone, we wanted to share with you some of the changes you will see next time you visit.

Having Dental Implant Treatment in the middle of Coronavirus Outbreak

During these unprecedented times we would like to give you some useful tips to help you resolve and reassure any possible dental implant related concerns you may have.

Recently placed implant(s)

If you have had implant(s) placed in the last week or two you will be due to have the stitches removed soon. You will have been informed if these are dissolvable or not. If they are dissolvable then there is no urgency to attend the practice, stay safe at home. A member of our team will give you a call to check on how you are doing. If the stitches are not dissolvable please contact the practice and we will arrange an appropriate time to have them removed.

3-month healing phase

After having had the implant(s) placed you will have a 3-month gap before the next stage of treatment, implant expose. Due to the current situation, several of our patients will be waiting longer than 3 months before this is carried out. Please do not worry, no harm will be done to the implant or you if this stage is not carried out after 3-months. This stage can be carried out any time after 3 months.

Implant expose

This stage is routinely carried out 3 months after placing the implant. Some patients will have had this part of the treatment already carried out. You will have had a small circular disc called a healing cap or healing abutment placed into the implant that protrudes through the gum. It is very important that this cap/abutment is kept very clean. You must brush the cap directly with your toothbrush (electric or manual) twice a day just like your teeth to keep it clean. No harm will be done to it. If it is kept clean and the gums around it healthy you will minimise any risk of problems.

A common issue with these healing caps is that over time they can become loose. Do not be concerned if this happens. Carry on brushing it and it will unwind fully and drop out. Keep the cap in a safe place. The gum will heal over the top and close the hole. Under current guidelines this is not a dental emergency and so you do not need to attend for any treatment. However, please do give us a call so we can make a note of it and plan to get you booked in as soon as we are able to resume normal services. It would also be very helpful if you can send a picture of the cap so that we can reassure you no further intervention is required.

Implant impressions

A small number of patients will have had impressions (moulds) of their teeth carried out to make the implant teeth or to start the stages to make the teeth. With the Government’s advice regarding social distancing and our governing bodies advice of not using any aerosol generating procedures, most laboratories will have closed or significantly limited the work they will be carrying out. Rest assured that when the time comes to fit your new teeth, if there are any adjustments, discrepancies or need for remaking you will not be charged for these. Many cases will be routine and we will be able to fit your new teeth with minimal disruption, once we are able to resume our normal service.

Completed Treatment

If your implant treatment has been completed, you will have been placed on our implant recall list. If you are due your implant check-up, this will be postponed until we are able to resume normal service.

Complications which may occur which are not deemed an emergency:

  1. Loss of a healing abutment. If the healing abutment (Small metal stopper protruding through the gum) can occasionally come loose during the healing phase. This is not a problem and can remain out during the healing phase and beyond.
  2. Loss of a dental implant. If the dental implant becomes loose and falls out the area will heal as normal. Please contact the surgery to advise of the situation and we can make appropriate arrangements to assess you for further treatment after it is safe to do so.
  3. Loss or loose implant crown. If the implant crown has fallen off, simply keep the crown safe and the area in your mouth that the crown once fit clean. Contact the surgery to advise of the situation. If the implant crown is loose and causing pain contact the surgery for further advice.
  4. Broken/chipped implant crown. This is not an emergency and no treatment is necessary.


Complications which may be deemed emergency care:

  1. Pain, swelling, with facial swelling associated with a dental implant or teeth
  2. Trauma due to a fall, RTA which has fracture, loosen or avulsed your implant/teeth.
Bleeding gums

Bleeding Gums during Coronavirus Outbreak

Gums can bleed for a number of different reasons. Gums might bleed on brushing due to mild inflammation but often stops soon afterwards.

If the bleeding hasn’t stopped within a few minutes press a clean cloth or piece of packing to the area and call the practice for advice.

Common causes of bleeding gums:

  • Trauma or ulcers – this can be due to mild trauma, like a burn from something like pizza, or a cut from a crisp or a graze from your toothbrush. If this is the case keep the area clean by rinsing with a mouthwash like Chlorhexidine or Corsodyl if you aren’t allergic to this. Or even just saltwater-a teaspoon of salt dissolved in half a tumbler full of warm water. If it is painful then Bonjela, Difflam mouthwash or even teething gel from your chemist may help along with whatever pain relief you would use if you had a headache. Also see separate ulcers advice.
  • Gingivitis – This basically means swollen gums which can be down to a number of reasons, but is normally because you need to tweak your brushing. Make sure you are flossing or using interdental brushes every day. Brush twice a day with either a manual toothbrush angling up towards the gum at 45 degrees and using a circular movement, spending a few seconds on each tooth before moving systematically around your mouth so you don’t miss anywhere. If you are using an electric or sonic toothbrush it’s the same advice just no need to do the circular movements as the toothbrush does that for you. Please don’t worry if there is blood or pink toothpaste when you first start doing this. The gums are likely to be swollen so bleed more readily, the good news is that if you persevere, within a few days you will notice less and less bleeding as a reward!
  • Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease – It is highly likely you are already aware that you suffer from gum disease if you come to the dentist regularly. What you may be experiencing is a localised flare up caused by some undisturbed plaque or food that’s become stuck. Normally localised use of an interdental brush to make sure the area is spotless along with some Chlorhexidine gel or mouthwash (as long as you are not allergic) on the interdental brush a couple of times a day will help settle the area within a few days. If it is painful take pain relief that you would normally take for a headache.


If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to phone the practice.

managing a mouth ulcer

Dental Pulpal Pain during Coronavirus

Correct as of 24th March 2020 9am

Toothache is extremely unpleasant, which is why your dentist always does everything they can to accommodate patients in pain. In these extraordinary times our ability to attend the Practice or have the personnel available to attend may be curtailed.

This guidance is an attempt to tell you what type of dental pain you may have, how severe it is and how you can manage the situation.

We are facing unprecedented times both in everyday life and in healthcare provision. The situation has and will continue to, move and change rapidly as new scientific information becomes available.

We ask you to understand that we are under guidance from the Department of Health and our Professional bodies and regulators which is limiting the treatment we can provide in an attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

We are only able to offer an emergency service and it is important to understand what constitutes a dental emergency.

Teeth have nerve tissue (pulp) in the middle of them. If this nerve tissue becomes inflamed it can lead to mild, moderate or severe pain or infection. Inflammation of the nerve can occur if there is decay in the tooth or the tooth is cracked or has a large filling.

The treatment depends on the status of the pulp.

Normal Pulp

Teeth can still be sensitive to hot, cold or sweet things when the pulp is normal. You may experience discomfort for a few seconds from a stimulus that disappears when the stimulus goes. This is normal and does not need assessment or treatment, the stimulus can be avoided. You can use a sensitive toothpaste to brush the area and after brushing and rinsing, apply some sensitive toothpaste to the area leaving it in place.

Reversible Pulpitis

This occurs when the pulp is slightly inflamed but no permanent damage has been done. You may experience discomfort to hot or cold that disappears when the stimulus is removed. This doesn’t constitute a dental emergency. You can manage the symptoms by not having food and drink with extreme temperature like ice cream or hot drinks.

Again, sensitive toothpaste may help. Pain relief can be useful in these circumstances, the best pain relief for dental pain are over the counter analgesics. The best evidence is that Paracetamol and Ibuprofen combined offers the most effective pain relief. 500mg Paracetamol and 400mg Ibuprofen taken together 4 times a day with at least 4 hours between doses.

It is very important that you read the advice sheet for both of these drugs as some people shouldn’t take one of both of these drugs. If in doubt we advise to speak to your pharmacist or GP.

There is some emerging evidence that COVID 19 (Coronavirus) can be worsened by Ibuprofen. Whilst the evidence is currently weak, until we know more, we advise that Ibuprofen is not used if you have symptoms of Coronavirus.

Irreversible Pulpitis

This occurs when the nerve is irreversibly inflamed and can result in severe toothache which comes on with no stimulus, lasts for hours not minutes, disturbs sleep and is not controlled with painkillers. The tooth is typically not tender to bite on. The pain may be diffused, difficult to localise or spread to other regions. This constitutes an urgent case and needs assessment. You will need to ring your practice to undergo a phone assessment by members of the dental team. If it is decided you need treatment, you will be given advice on how you will access further assessment possibly at the practice or a regional centre. The guidance is changing by the hour and this information will be regularly updated. You will then be clinically assessed by a dentist who will decide with treatment is most appropriate. The treatment would be extraction of the tooth or removing the inflamed nerve and doing root canal treatment.

Infected Tooth

This occurs when the nerve of the tooth has died off and bacteria have infected the tooth. The symptoms are very different from pulpitis. Typically, the pain is well localised to a particular tooth, this tooth would not be sensitive to hot and cold but would be painful to pressure or biting. This constitutes an urgent case and needs assessment. As above, you would undergo phone and clinical assessment and the most appropriate treatment will be implemented. The treatment would be extraction of the tooth or removing the dead nerve and doing root canal treatment.

If an infected tooth is not treated, or becomes infected quickly, it can lead to localised swelling, severe pain and whole-body symptoms like fever, chills and malaise. This constitutes a dental emergency and needs urgent assessment.

If under these circumstances, the swelling interferes with your swallowing or breathing, or causes an eye to close this would need urgent hospital assessment. The best thing would be to go directly to Accident and Emergency without going to the dentist first.

Mr Michael Turner BDS MSc (Endodontology)




broken tooth

Lost Fillings and Broken Teeth – during Covid-19

We understand that losing a filling can be a concerning and worrying time.

It can leave your teeth sharp which can make your lips and tongue sore, it can sometimes leave your smile looking unsightly and the tooth can become more sensitive to extremes of temperature or even end up giving you an ache. However, in most cases, everything can be fine.

If you experience a lost filling or broken tooth in these extraordinary times, we need to manage your problem without putting you or our team at any extra risk. We have extremely strict guidelines which we follow to help control the spread of the Corona Virus so our normal ethos of seeing everyone we possibly can, as soon as we can, can’t be implemented.

We are not allowed to do any drilling or use any water so we won’t be able to repair your tooth permanently.

As an alternative, if the tooth isn’t painful or sharp, is to purchase a temporary filling kit from your pharmacist to tide you over until the worst of the Covid-19 Pandemic is over. We would advise you cover the broken area or sharp part and leave for a few minutes to set.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the team, we will be more than happy to give you advice.

Denture Problems during Covid-19 disruption

Correct as of 24th March 2020.

If your denture is broken, as we write, some labs are still open to mend your denture, however not all are. Please call the practice to see if we can help.

If your denture is loose or rubbing you may find denture fixative like Polygrip or Fixodent may help stabilise the denture in the short term while we get through the acute phase of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Another option, although we realise this may not be terribly desirable, is to leave the denture out until the sore area has healed, then try the denture in again. Sometimes the sore area is caused by a rogue bit of food getting under the denture and once healed the denture is comfortable again.

Once we are allowed to see patients normally we will be more than happy to see you to discuss how we can help if you are still getting problems.

Please call the practice if you would like any further advice.

managing a mouth ulcer

Managing an Ulcer

Home Care

Ulcers can develop due to a number of reasons, however, the management of them is relatively similar.

Ulcers can be remarkably painful. Using local measures like placing Bonjela on the ulcer and rinsing with mouthwash like Difflam which you can purchase from a pharmacy can help with the pain. Even teething gels which contain topical anaesthetic can soothe the area. Please check with the chemist that there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using any of these.

In most cases the pain will subside but if it continues, then you can take standard pain relief such as paracetamol. Again, speak to your pharmacist, or check the information leaflet in the packet to check there is no reason why you shouldn’t be taking them.

Please avoid putting any tablets directly on the area as this may help in the short term but may chemically burn the area making it worse not better.

Causes of Ulcers

Sometimes a change in diet or toothpaste can be a cause of ulcers. Make sure you eat a healthy, well balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Occasionally, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) in toothpaste can cause ulcers in some people. Please check your toothpaste, it may be worth switching to a toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS.

Consuming spicy or acidic food and drinks can also be triggers for ulcers.

Prevention and Maintenance

It is important to look after your health and by taking multivitamins you can help prevent ulcers from forming.

You can keep your whole mouth clean by rinsing with a mouthwash like Chlorhexidine / Corsodyl (please check for allergies first), or even a simple teaspoon of salt in half a tumbler full of warm water can help healing.

If symptoms do persist, please don’t hesitate to call the practice, we are more than happy to offer advice.