What to Do During a Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can be scary. Being prepared can save you a lot of worry and stress, and could be the difference between saving a tooth and losing one. While coming in to see us is always your best option, here we’ll put you at ease by going through examples of some common dental emergencies and explaining how you should handle them before we can examine you.

woman closing her eyes holding her lower lip with tooth pain

Toothache

Perhaps the most common dental emergencies, treating a toothache is pretty straightforward. First, rinse with warm water to clean out your mouth. Next, take floss and gently remove any food particles or other debris caught in your teeth. If your mouth is swollen by the toothache, apply a cold compress to your cheek. It’s important to never put aspirin against your aching tooth or the gums surrounding it.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Before you do anything, find the tooth and hold it by the crown (never the root) and rinse it off with water if it’s dirty. Never scrub at any part of the tooth. If possible, try to place the tooth back in place, but stop if you feel as though you might need to force it into the socket. If you can’t replace it, keep the tooth moist in a small cup of milk. Then, call us and we’ll get you in to see us ASAP so we can try to save the tooth.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Like with a knocked-out tooth, find and save any pieces that came off. Rinse your mouth out and the pieces with warm water to clean it out. If you’re bleeding, place a small piece of gauze to the area. You should also apply a cold compress to the cheek area outside of where the chipped or broken tooth is located to reduce any swelling. Again, call us ASAP.

Lost Filling or Crown

If your filling falls out, stick a piece of sugar free gum into the cavity while you’re waiting to see us. If a crown falls out, try to put the crown back onto your tooth by using an over-the-counter dental cement, denture adhesive, or even toothpaste to hold it in place while you’re waiting to see us.

Object Stuck Between Teeth

Try to gently and carefully dislodge the object using floss, but if you can’t seem to get it, come in to have us remove it. Don’t ever use something sharp to try to poke the item out.

Abscess

An abscess is an infection near the root of a tooth or in the place between the gums and teeth. It’s an incredibly serious condition that could permanently damage the tissue and teeth in your mouth. Call us immediately if you think you have an abscess, especially if you find a painful, pimple-like swelling in your mouth. While you’re waiting to see us, rinse your mouth out with salt water a few times a day.

If you have any other questions about dental emergencies, contact us today!

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