Cemaes Bay Dental Practice

Telephone 01407710491

Self Help


Toothache is commonly caused by inflammation of the nerve inside the tooth - the pain tends to be sharp and often occurs in response to hot, cold or sweet stimulus.  The nerve inside the tooth is poorly connected to the brain so that it is often difficult to identify the tooth actually causing the problem.

Causes: There are many causes of toothache - dental decay, a crack or fracture in the tooth (which can be particularly difficult to identify because there is often nothing to see), exposed root surfaces, irritation following dental treatment or some other cause. Toothache is often reversible and most of the time responds to farily simple treatment.

Self-Help: Things you can do before you can see your dentist:

- Avoid the things that set the toothache off - for example biting down on hard food, hot or cold etc.

- Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are often effective - please read the instruction leaflet carefully, check that the painkiller does not interact with any medication you may be on and do not exceed the maximum dose.

- If the pain is from around the roots, try rubbing sensodyne (or other sensitive toothpaste) around the area and avoid rinsing it off

- See your dentist as soon as possible even if the pain goes away - it may return if the cause is not treated.

Dental Abcess

Causes: Dental Abcesses are usually caused by the nerve in the tooth dying or from gum disease. The pain is usually very sharp and the tooth is often sore to bite on and may become loose.

Dental Abcesses will not heal themselves - treatment consists of either extracting the affected tooth, removing the infected nerve or treating the gum problem - you should arrange an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible

Self Help: Follow the guidance above as for toothache. In addition

- Hot salty mouthwashes sometimes help

- If your gum looks red and inflamed Corsodyl mouthwash may help (but be aware that it often stains the teeth but this can be removed when you visit your dentist)


Bleeding after an Extraction

Following the extraction of a tooth, there is an open socket in which blood needs to clot. It is quite common for there to be some slight discharge of blood after an extraction - this is normally minor and short-lasting. Excessive bleeding following extraction usually responds to the simple measures below:

- Avoid rinsing out your mouth - rinsing just washes out any clot and will make the bleeding worse.

- Use a lint-free cloth (a handkerchief works well) rolled up and placed over the socket. Bite together

- Sit down and keep biting on the pack for 30 minutes before removing the pack

- Avoid using painkillers with asprin because they can affect the clotting process.

If the bleeding has stopped, avoid rinsing the mouth for a minimum of 24 hours. If bleeding persists then you should contact your dentist - or if the practice is closed contact the emergency rota dentist (or NHS Direct if the patient is registered on the NHS

Tooth Knocked out or loosened by an impact / blow

If a tooth has been knocked out or loosened, it is vital to have it replaced and splinted as soon as possible for the best chance of success. If the tooth is clean, it can be placed back into the socket (if it is done immediately, it is often a painless procedure!) - if it is contaminated,  rinse the tooth under cold water to clean it) Under no circumstances should the root be scrubbed or cleaning chemicals used because this will kill the ligament that holds the tooth in place. If you do not feel confident about replanting the tooth, it should either be placed in the patient’s cheek (ensure that they do not swallow or inhale it) or in a glass of milk.

IF A TOOTH HAS BEEN KNOCKED OUT OR LOOSENED, THE PATIENT MUST BE SEEN BY A DENTIST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (within a couple of hours at most). If it is not possible to contact the practice or our out-of-hours service, you should attend the nearest Accident and Emergency department or telephone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice.

Erupting teeth / Wisdom teeth / Sore Gums

Pain from erupting teeth (including wisdom teeth) and gum problems is cause by a localised infection of the gum around the tooth. This sort of problem will often respond to the following self-help measures:

- Keep the area clean - use a small toothbrush and remove as much plaque as possible. (You may find the gum bleeds while you are doing this -  inflamed gums do bleed quite significantly until the inflammation goes down)

- Hot, Salty mouthwashes help to clean the area and sooth the inflammation. Take a beaker of warm water, dissolve a tea-spoon of salt and rinse the area. If you can get hold of some corsodyl mouthwash (of ideally gel from the pharmacy) this can be applied with a toothbrush to the affected area.

- Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are often effective. Please read the information leaflet that came with the painkiller and ensure that it does not interfere with any medication that you may already be taking and do not exceed the maximum dose.

If the pain does not resolve in a couple of days, you should see your dentist.

Loose or lost fillings

If you are not experiencing any discomfort, it is usually fine to make an appointment at a convenient time to have it replaced. If you are away from home or it is not possible to see your dentist, emergency repair kits are available from your local pharmacy which can help if there are sharp edges or if the tooth becomes ensitive to hot and cold. Please contact the practice and we will arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

If you have problems with sharp edges rubbing against your cheek or tongue, wax or gum can sometimes be helpful as a short term emergency measure.