Advice for a dental emergency

You may find the following advice helpful:


It is normal to experience pain or discomfort for 1-2 weeks after having a tooth out.

It is very rare for the dentist to need to prescribe a course of antibiotics to help the mouth to heal.
We recommend that if you follow the instructions below and allow the mouth time to heal, it is very unlikely that you will need to see the dentist for further treatment.

If you are suffering from discomfort or tenderness, we advise you take one of the following painkillers:

Paracetamol, 2 x 500mg tablets, 4 times daily
(at breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime)

Ibuprofen (neurofen) 2 x 200mg tablets, 3 times daily
(at 11am, 3pm, 8pm)

If the discomfort is severe, you can take both Paracetamol and Ibuprofen as directed above.

* Avoid taking Ibuprofen if you are taking anticoagulants such as Warfarin or Aspirin or if you suffer from asthma or stomach problems.

It is important that you keep your mouth as clean as possible after having a tooth out.  To help your mouth to heal quickly, we suggest that you gently rinse your mouth after every meal with hot salt mouthwashes (1tsp of salt dissolved in warm water).

We advise that you DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, particularly if you are finding the socket to be painful. If you feel small sharp pieces of bone working their way out of the socket, don't worry, this is normal.



If you find that bleeding occurs after extraction fold a clean, damp hankie, tissue, gauze pad or facecloth into a sausage shape and bite down firmly for a full 15 minutes.  Repeat if necessary.  If bleeding continues contact the surgery or NHS 24 on 111.

Rest for 2-3 hours after the extraction, while the anesthetic wears off an the blood clot forms.

Eat on the opposite side to avoid disturbing the blood clot.  Avoid hot food & drinks, spicy foods and hard or chewy foods.  Allow your food to cool down before eating.

DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL for at least 48 hours.  Alcohol thins your blood, making you more likely to start bleeding again.



If you have recently had a filling done at the dentist, you may find your tooth is sensitive to hot and cold.  This can take several weeks to settle down.

You can help to relieve the sensitivity by rubbing sensitive toothpaste directly onto the tooth.  We recommend that you use a sensitive toothpaste egSensodyne or Colgate Sensitive.

The toothpaste will soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and with regular use, will form a barrier layer to protect your tooth from hot and cold sensations.  It can take 3 - 4 weeks for the barrier layer to form and for the sensitivity to improve.