Chipped, broken or loose teeth can be uncomfortable and make it harder to eat, as well as possibly leading to infection.

If any of your teeth or dental restorations such as crowns, fillings or dentures get damaged or feel loose, you should contact your local Bupa dentist as soon as possible. They can offer personalised advice for your situation or may recommend that you book an appointment at their clinic for urgent care.

Here are some things you can try to relieve the pain and discomfort of common dental problems while waiting to see your dentist.

Chipped or broken tooth

Teeth can chip or break for many reasons. Dentists can't reattach broken pieces of a chipped tooth, but they can repair teeth by placing a dental crown, filling or other restoration over the damaged area to restore its strength, function and appearance.

If you've had an accident and damaged a tooth, first make sure that you remove any pieces of the tooth from your mouth so you won't accidentally swallow them. Phone your dentist to find out if you need to make an emergency appointment.

If a broken tooth has sharp edges, this may dig into the cheeks, tongue or other soft areas of the mouth, which can cause injuries or discomfort. Taking over-the-counter painkillers or applying some clove oil to the painful area could provide some relief for your tooth pain until you have the chance to see a dentist. If you have allergies, chronic illness or are on any other medicines always check with your pharmacist first before taking painkillers.

You could also try covering the tooth with soft gauze or apply a temporary filling material if this is recommended by your dentist.

Lost filling

If a dental filling has broken or come loose, this could cause pain or sensitivity if the inside of the tooth is exposed and left untreated. If you can't see a dentist right away, you can try to manage the discomfort and prevent infections by:

  • using the other side of your mouth for chewing, when possible
  • avoiding sugar, which can make toothache and sensitivity worse
  • avoiding very hot or cold food and drinks, if your tooth feels sensitive to temperature
  • brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily to help keep bacteria at bay

Loose crown or veneer

If a dental crown or veneer feels loose or has already come off, this could cause pain or make you worried about eating. Your dentist will recommend booking an appointment as soon as possible to have it reattached or a replacement made, but they can also offer you advice about how to protect your mouth in the meantime.

If your tooth feels painful without the crown, over-the-counter painkillers could help to relieve this while you wait for your appointment. As mentioned above, you should check with your pharmacist first if you have any allergies or if you are on other medication. You should also continue to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and avoiding sugar.

Loose or painful dentures

Loose dentures may cause pain or discomfort, affect your ability to eat or speak or make you worried about your appearance.

Your dentist can advise you over the phone whether you need to visit the clinic urgently. They can also discuss home remedies for denture problems and may recommend products to help you.

Talk to a dentist for more advice

If you need to talk to a professional about any dental issue that's worrying you, your dentist is just a phone call away