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Dental Emergencies


Knocked Out Tooth

If the knocked out tooth is a permanent (adult) tooth, your dentist may be able to replant the tooth. You must act quickly. If the tooth is completely knocked out, rinse it with water but DO NOT scrub it, and try to place it back into the opening. To avoid damage to the ligaments on the root surface, hold the tooth by the crown (top), not the root. The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will reattach susscssfully.

See your dentist immediately.  If you cannot put the tooth back into its opening store the tooth in the mouth next to the cheek. If the tooth might be swallowed, store the tooth in a container of cold milk.  If you see bleeding from the opening, rinse the mouth out with water. Place a wad of tissue or gauze on the opening and bite down on the gauze. The pressure applied will usually stop the bleeding.

With proper emergency action, a knocded out tooth can be successfully replanted and last for years. It is important to see a dentist as soon as possible after the tooth is knocked out. Quick action will increase the likelihood of saving the tooth.  

Tooth Ache

Toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve root of a tooth is irritated. Tooth infection, decay, injury or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain. Contact your dentist. Explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible. Ease the pain with an over-the-counter pain medicine that works for you. Never put medication directly against the gums near an aching tooth because it may burn gum tissue. Hold an ice pack against your face at the spot of the sore tooth. Never use a heating pad, hot water bottle or any other source of heat on your jaw. Heat will make things worse instead of better.

Chipped or Broken Tooth 

Broken teeth can almost always be saved. Call your dentist, explain what happened and ask to see him or her right away. If possible, bring in any pieces of the chipped or broken tooth to your dentist. For a small break your dentist may use a white filling to fix the tooth. A broken tooth may need a root canal and/or a crown to be successfully restored.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

To stop bleeding, apply pressure to the part of the mouth that is bleeding using a clean cloth. If the lip is swollen, use an ice pack to reduce the swelling. If the bleeding does not stop, go to your dentist or a hospital emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught Between Teeth 

Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If you cannot remove the object, see your dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument as these items could cut your gums or scratch the tooths surface.