We have tried, below, to give you some advice and information on what to do in various common emergency situations. Please read through it, and if you still feel you need to see a dentist, call the usual surgery telephone number during normal surgery hours. Outside normal working hours, please phone the Dental Out of Hours Service on 0845 6031322. This service is provided by the PCT and they are open

  • Monday to Thursday 6:30pm to 8:30am
  • Friday 6:30pm through all day Saturday and Sunday until 8:30am Monday
  • All Bank Holidays

If the problem is severe enough you need to be seen on the same day, please telephone us first thing in the morning. This will give us more flexibility to accommodate you.


  1. You have had a minor surgical procedure so expect to have some swelling which should resolve after 7-10 days. You will also experience some pain for a few days after the procedure.
  2. Do not rinse the mouth for the rest of the day as this can cause bleeding.
  3. If you have bleeding from the surgical site roll up a clean handkerchief or clean linen (do not use tissue or cotton wool) and place over the bleeding site and apply constant pressure for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  4. Have nothing hot to eat or drink for the rest of the day. Leave to cool down.
  5. If in pain when the numbness wears off, take painkillers. (Avoid Aspirin unless you take it as part of your regular medication).
  6. Do not drink alcohol for the rest of the day.
  7. Take it easy for the rest of the day, no physical exertion.
  8. If you are prescribed antibiotics you need to finish the course. If you have problems with any medication we have prescribed, please contact us or your General Medical Practitioner.
  9. On the days after surgery use hot salty mouth washes four or five times a day for the following seven to ten days. In a tumbler of warm water place a teaspoon of salt. Gently bathe the surgical area with the salty water for thirty seconds.
  10. If you have had sutures which are resorbable and they are still present after two weeks please contact us so that we can arrange for their removal.
  11. We advise you not to smoke until the wound has healed.

If you have broken a tooth and there is no pain, make an appointment in the next few days. If the tooth is sensitive or sharp, you can purchase an emergency dental kit from the chemist or supermarket and place some cement on the tooth until you can be seen by the dentist.


If you are having a crown done, it is normal procedure to have a temporary crown on the tooth while the proper permanent crown is made in the laboratory. It does happen sometimes the temporary crown comes out. You can always use the emergency dental kit referred to in the 'Broken Tooth' section. Some very imaginative patients have used chewing gum and denture adhesive. You can also go back to the dentist to have the temporary crown put back.

If it is a permanent crown which has come out, try and see if it will seat back on the tooth. If so, it can be put back on with the cement from the emergency dental kit until such time you can be seen by a dentist. If the crown cannot be seated back, go and see your dentist.


More often than not, pain and swelling is caused by an abscess which can originate from the tooth or from the gum. You will need antibiotics to reduce the swelling before any treatment can be done. Make an appointment to see the dentist.


Inflammation of the gum (gingivitis) causes soreness and bleeding of the gum. This is due to poor oral hygiene resulting in the build-up of plaque and tartar around the teeth. These contain germs which cause gum disease. You will need to see the dentist to clean the teeth. If the gum is too sore to be cleaned, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics to settle the gum first.

During pregnancy, women can experience gum bleeding due to the hormonal changes in their body. Good oral hygiene and a mouthwash like Corsodyl or Curasept will reduce the bleeding.


The denture will need to be sent to the laboratory to be repaired. The dentist may need to take an impression of your mouth so that the broken parts can be put back together. It takes 1 or 2 days to repair a denture. If desperate, try superglue.


Sometimes, after a filling has been done, the tooth can be rather sensitive initially. Under normal circumstances, the sensitivity goes away after a few days. However if it persists, you should see your dentist. The filling may be too high on the bite and needs filing down.

Similarly, after root-treatment, the tooth can be sore for the first few days but it normally settles down.

After an extraction, the socket can be sore initially. Painkillers like Panadol and Nurofen will help. Please also refer to the post operative instructions above.

A new denture can cause soreness of the gum. It is rather like a new pair of shoes. Normally the denture will bed in after a few days but if not, see the dentist who will adjust the denture.

Generally if you experience severe pain, a good advice will be to take Co-codamol and Nurofen Plus alternatively but make sure you do not exceed the maximum dose allowed.