Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies can be scary for everyone.  If an accident happens, knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:

  • For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.
  • For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
  • If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
  • For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen as needed to reduce the pain.
  • For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.

When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.

Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:  

  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

If you are having swelling that restricts your breathing or swallowing please call 911 or go immediately to your local emergency room.

Most of our offices reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. Call your dentist and provide as much detail as possible about your condition.  Click here to find your nearest office.

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