Treating Dental Emergencies

June 12, 2016


You are with your family enjoying a day at the park and then it happens…someone trips and injures a tooth.


With school being out and summer vacations coming up, dental emergencies happen. Here are some steps to take to limit as much damage as possible.

  • Knocked-out tooth: Find the tooth if possible and hold it by the crown (the part you see in the mouth) and rinse off with water if it is dirty. Leave it as it is and don't attempt to remove any tissue fragments. If possible, try to place the tooth back in its socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth, place in cup of milk or cup of water with a pinch of table salt. There is an over the counter product, Save-a-Tooth, that is also an option. Call your dentist immediately and try to make an emergency appointment.

  • Chipped or broken tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water. If there is bleeding, apply gauze until you have stopped the bleeding. Use a cold compress to minimize swelling on the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the chipped or broken tooth.

  • Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth: See your dentist as soon as possible. Apply a cold compress to the cheek or lip near the tooth. You may take an over the counter pain reliever if needed.

  • Toothache: Rinse your mouth with warm water. Clean around the tooth using dental floss. If there is swelling, apply a cold compress to the face near the hurting tooth. Avoid placing aspirin or other painkiller on gum near aching tooth as this can burn the gum tissue.

  • Object caught between teeth: Use floss to clean around tooth and remove object. Never, use sharp objects or other tools to remove food or other debris.

  • Lost filling: Call your dentist as soon as possible and use an over the counter pain reliever for any sensitivity.

  • Soft tissue injury (tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips): Rinse mouth with mild salt-water solution. Use a moistened piece of gauze and apply pressure to bleeding site until bleeding stops. Pain relief can be controlled by holding a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek for 5-10 minutes. See your dentist immediately or go to an emergency room if the bleeding does not stop.

Call us if you find yourself dealing with any of the above emergencies.


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