A dental emergency, whether it is experienced by your teeth, gums, or elsewhere, can have severe ramifications if ignored, especially when effects are permanent or require extensive, expensive treatment in the future. To prevent dental emergencies from occurring, you should always:
Wear a mouth guard when you are participating in sporting activities. Use a mouth guard to protect yourself, particularly if it is a contact sport like hockey, football, and boxing. Mouth guards can help prevent serious mouth injuries, including bleeding gums and chipped or knocked out teeth.
Eat carefully and wisely. Although teeth are strong, you can still crack or chip a tooth by eating hard candy, nuts, or chewing crunchy meat (bacon). Use caution when you bite down on these products, or simply remove them from your diet because they are not worth the risk of chipping a tooth.
Avoid chewing on items that are not edible. Many patients have oral tendencies, such as biting their nails or chewing on pens. This can cause cracks or chips in their teeth. Swap these items for sugarless chewing gum, a product that stimulates saliva production and cleanses bacteria.
Rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to dislodge any food that lies between your teeth. When your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Aspirin, or any other painkiller, should not be put against your gums near the aching tooth since it may burn your gum tissue.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Salvage any pieces and rinse them in warm water, along with your mouth. For bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for roughly ten minutes or until the bleeding completely ceases. Then, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken or chipped tooth in order to limit any swelling and relieve discomfort.
For the time being, prior to coming in, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity or utilize an over-the-counter dental cement. Gum containing sugar will only augment your discomfort.
Should you be unable to reach our dental clinic immediately and your tooth is causing significant pain, use a cotton swab to apply a small amount of clove oil to the sensitive area. You might have a chance of slipping the crown back over your tooth, though it is vital that you first coat the surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive to help hold the crown in position.
Dislodged (Luxated) Teeth
Dislodged (also known as luxated) teeth, occur when a tooth is pushed sideways out of, or into, its socket. We can re-position and stabilize this tooth, but root canal treatment is usually needed if it happens to your permanent teeth, and should be performed within a few days after the injury. For children who experience this with their baby teeth, we will monitor the recovery process carefully, intervening the moment unfavorable changes occur.
Before arriving at our office, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek in the affected area to relieve any discomfort. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil, can also assist you in the meantime.
Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Tooth
Knocked-out (also known as avulsed) teeth, are exactly what they sound like – teeth that have been completely knocked out of their socket. Time is of the essence here. The tooth should be handled gently, without touching the root surface. A knocked-out tooth should be quickly and gently rinsed in water, without any soap or other cleaning agents. You should also avoid scraping or brushing the tooth with a toothbrush. If you can, place it back in its socket as soon as possible – the less time it spends outside its socket, the greater chance there is to save it. Once the tooth is placed back in its socket, we will check for other dental and facial injuries, and then a stabilizing splint will be placed for a few weeks to support the tooth. If the tooth cannot be placed back in its socket, you should place the tooth in a bag of milk and head to our dentist office, or nearest emergency room.
An injury to the soft tissue in your mouth, such as the tongue, cheeks, gums, or lips, can cause bleeding. In this case, you can control the bleeding by following these steps:
- Rinse your mouth with a mild mixture of salt and water.
- With a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag, apply pressure to the bleeding area, holding it in place for 15-to-20-minutes.
- Hold a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek in the impacted area for 5-to-10-minutes, as it will work to control bleeding and relieve pain.
- If the bleeding continues, despite your efforts, call our dental clinic or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Keep applying pressure to the bleeding area with gauze until you are seen and treated.
An abscess is an infection around the root of a tooth or within the space between your gums and teeth. These represent a severe condition that can harm tissue and surrounding teeth, as the infection can potentially spread to other parts of your body if neglected. To ease the discomfort and draw the pus near the surface, rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution a few times per day. Abscesses resemble a pimple-like swelling on the gums and typically cause discomfort, and they can carry the threat of serious oral and general health issues.
Post-Extraction Bleeding and Discomfort
Some discomfort following a tooth extraction is expected, but if it goes on an hour after the procedure, call our office. To keep yourself relatively comfortable, place a gauze pad over the extraction site and apply pressure by biting down on it.
Signs and Symptoms
Watch for signs in your mouth, such as bleeding, sensitivity, pain, discoloration, a sore, lump, or anything abnormal, as they can be early signs of an oral disease. Inform us when this occurs so we can examine the area for any treatment that may be needed.