Advice on managing dental pain, post-extraction bleeding and dental trauma

Advice on Managing Dental Pain

  • Avoid doing anything that brings on or worsens the pain. For example, some toothache can be made worse by hot or cold foods or cold air.
  • Holding cooled water or crushed ice around the tooth can help some types of dental pain.
  • Severe pain from the mouth or teeth sometimes feels worse when lying flat; therefore, try lying propped up as this might ease the pain.
  • Use painkillers that have successfully provided pain relief for you in the past without adverse effects.
  • When taking painkillers, always follow the directions on the packet for advice on precautions in some medical conditions. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.
  • Avoid taking aspirin as a painkiller if there is bleeding.
  • Current national guidance suggests that ibuprofen should be avoided if you are known or suspected to have the COVID-19 infection.
  • If your pain gets worse, you can seek dental advice via the Dental Helpline.

Advice on Managing Post-extraction Bleeding

If you have had a tooth taken out during the past week and still have bleeding from the extraction area:

  • Seeing some blood in your saliva after a dental extraction is normal. You only need take further action if the extraction area is still noticeably bleeding.
  • Make a small pad with a clean cotton handkerchief or piece of kitchen towel, and dampen it slightly with water.
  • Rinse the mouth once only with warm (not hot) water to get rid of the blood. Place the damp pad over the socket area and bite firmly.
  • If there are no opposing teeth, hold the pad firmly on the socket using clean fingers. Maintain this while sitting upright quietly for 20 minutes and then check.
  • Repeat once if necessary.
  • After the bleeding has stopped, remain rested and as upright as possible. Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not disturb the blood clot in the socket.
  • If these measures prove inadequate, seek dental advice via the Dental Helpline.
  • If you are taking anticoagulant medication, do not stop your medication without medical advice.

Advice on Managing Dental Trauma

advice on managing dental trauma

Last updated: April 2, 2020

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