Dental Emergencies

We are here for you if a dental emergency arises and know you need proper care in a timely manner for the best possible outcome. It’s important to know what you can do immediately if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Read over these tips before you find yourself needing them so you can react quickly and with the appropriate response.

We’ve all heard to place your lost tooth in a container of cold milk to help preserve it, and that is true, but it’s not the best option. To increase the likelihood that your tooth can be saved, first pick it up without touching the root. Gently clean it off with water. Finally, place it back in the socket facing the correct direction. Use mild pressure to hold it in place and get to our dental office or to an emergency room if it’s after hours quickly. You need rapid treatment to save it. If you can’t place the tooth back in its socket immediately, you can tuck the tooth between the cheek and gum of the person who lost it. If that option is also not available then use milk to preserve it.

Treatment for a loose tooth that has not been knocked out of the mouth needs to occur within six hours. If there is extensive bleeding, you should seek immediate treatment at an emergency room.

It’s worth locating the pieces that have chipped off. Reattaching them may be possible. Make an appointment for an office visit soon to bring the pieces in to see if they can be saved.

Severe or persistent tooth pain is a big red sign telling you to stop and make an urgent appointment. Be sure to tell us you are experiencing significant pain. A bacterial infection in the tooth is the likely culprit and it can not only spread through the tooth, but to gum tissue as well. Other causes can include a loose filling or it might just be a sensitive tooth. You won’t know unless you come in for us to determine the cause.

Injury to the gums, tongue or cheek lining caused by accidental bites, falls, sports injuries or burning liquids may need emergency treatment. These injuries should be rinsed with salt water and any visible debris should be removed. Use a clean damp cloth or material such as gauze to press on the area for 10 to 15 minutes to control bleeding. If bleeding continues and can’t be controlled go to the emergency room immediately.

Foreign bodies lodged below the gum line can develop into serious, painful, infected abscesses which require immediate attention at our dental office. You can try using dental floss or a tooth-pick to carefully work out the lodged body. If this isn’t easily possible, do not continue to try and remove it yourself. You risk damaging the area or increasing the likelihood of infection. Make a dental appointment so we can remove the object and treat the area.