What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation that poses an immediate threat to the health of your teeth and supporting tissues. Dental emergencies are often the result of impact to the mouth, but they also can be caused by infection. To ensure the best possible outcome, any dental emergency should be evaluated by a professional immediately.
What to do if a tooth is knocked out:
For permanent teeth that are knocked out, rinse the tooth and put it back in the socket. If you can’t get the tooth back in the socket, place it in a container of milk, water, or saliva to keep it moist. Do not touch the roots (handle the tooth by the crown) and don’t brush the tooth. Contact us IMMEDIATELY for information and emergency treatment – the sooner you get to us, the more likely we can save your tooth!
For baby teeth that are unexpectedly knocked out, leave them out and contact us immediately for instructions.
Other Emergency Dental Situations:
- Substantial Toothache
- Significant Sensitivity
- Swollen or Sore Gums
- Jaw Pain
- Broken, Cracked, and Chipped Teeth
- Broken Fillings
If you can’t get into our office immediately, here is a list of effective home remedies to make you more comfortable while you wait for care:
- Warm water rinses for sore teeth and gums.
- Over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (NOT aspirin).
- Ice packs applied to the outside of cheeks.
- Dental anesthetics containing benzocaine may be used as directed on the package for pain.
- Avoid overly hot and cold beverages and foods to reduce sensitivity.
- Heating pads may be used for jaw pain.
- Avoid chewing in the injured area.
- If a broken tooth has a sharp edge, cotton can be placed over it to protect soft tissues in your mouth.
Pain-Free Emergencies: Some dental emergencies may not cause pain initially. For example, a cracked tooth may not hurt, but it may lead to nerve damage in the roots. For this reason, all of the listed conditions need immediate attention, whether or not pain is present.
We are here to help. We urge you to call us at the first sign of a dental emergency!