Dental emergencies happen daily, and usually on the weekend or a holiday when all offices are closed.
As a general rule, you should call our office first and if we are closed please go to the nearest urgent care or emergency room if this is a true dental emergency.
Some emergencies can be alleviated until offices are open. Some general guidelines for certain emergencies are listed below:
- A toothache may not always be an emergency situation. However, they should be handled since it could be an indicator to bigger issues down the road.
- Floss carefully to remove all food and bacteria from around the tooth that may be causing the pain. Dental biofilm (or plaque) can lead to swelling of the gums and many other issues if not properly removed.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Add ½ teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of warm water.
- If there are no liver/kidney issues and or your primary doctor has never not recommended you take any NSAIDS then taking an over-the counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen will help alleviate pain.
- Tooth trauma can consist of chipping teeth, teeth that are knocked out, or cracked/fractured teeth.
- If the tooth is knocked out, locate the tooth ASAP and do not clean the tooth. Using no soap or chemicals on the tooth is important. Place the tooth back into the socket and hold it in place. If you are not able to place the tooth back in the socket then keep it in your mouth next to your cheek to keep the tooth moist and safe. If this cannot also be done then place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva. See us right away (within 30 minutes if possible) or go to urgent care.
- When a tooth is chipped or broken, call us as soon as possible and locate the piece of tooth to bring in with you.
Bitten or cut tongue, cheek, or lip:
- If you bite or cut your cheek, lip, or tongue. Wash the areas carefully and keep firm pressure if it is bleeding until it stops.
- Place a cold compress to help reduce any swelling.
- Keep the wound as clean as possible
- If the area is bleeding and won’t stop, then please go to the emergency room if our office is closed.
- Small cuts or ulcers in the mouth can also be alleviated with a mixture of one teaspoon of salt and one cup of warm water. There are also over the counter numbing gels that can be purchased over the counter to be applied for temporary relief.
How to prevent dental injuries:
- Wear a mouthguard when playing sports
- Childproof your home to help avoid incidents
- Do not chew on hard foods that can crack teeth (Ice, popcorn kernels etc)
- Do not rip or cut items with your teeth