Despite all of our precautions and attempts to stay safe, accidents can happen, and dealing with a dental emergency can be especially stressful. Fortunately, knowing how to properly handle a dental emergency can make all the difference when it comes to saving a tooth, so it is important to know how to respond to some of the most common dental crises.
Knocked Out Teeth
Whether you are playing sports or are involved in a car accident, having a tooth knocked out is an upsetting experience. If this happens, try to first stick the tooth back into place and hold it in its socket while you get into the dentist. If this isn’t possible, place the tooth in a special tooth saver kit or in a container of milk. It is crucial that you get to your dentist right away to increase the likelihood that your tooth can be put back into place.
If your tooth has broken, cracked, or chipped, take care to avoid further damage to the tooth by placing a small piece of soft wax over the broken portion. Then, before you get to the dentist, be sure to only eat a soft diet and avoid foods and beverages that are especially cold or hot.
If you suffer some type of facial trauma and then find that your jaw is quite painful when it is moved, you may be dealing with a fracture. Likewise, an inability to open and close your mouth like normal could also indicate a fracture, so you should make your way to your nearest emergency room. The hospital will treat your injury and will recommend follow-up with your dentist.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
Biting your tongue or lip will often lead to soreness and inflammation, and the area may bleed. To control these issues, use pressure and ice, and swelling should minimize within 24 hours. If you have suffered a deep laceration or the pain is persistent, contact us for a follow-up appointment.
Bleeding After Extraction
It is common to experience some bleeding after having a tooth extracted, although a clot should form within an hour. If you continue to experience bleeding, put clean gauze over the wound and apply pressure. You may also want to try placing a soaked tea bag over the extraction site and applying pressure, as tea leaves contain minerals that can help with the clotting process. For more information please see our post extraction instructions page.
A canker sore is a small, painful sore that can develop on the inside of your mouth. While they are uncomfortable, they typically don’t warrant a dental emergency. Canker sores are caused by reactions to certain foods, trauma, or stress, and you can use over-the-counter medications like Orajel in order to minimize your discomfort.
A toothache is a very common dental emergency, and since it often indicates an infection in or around the tooth, you should be sure to make an appointment with us. Until you can be seen, be sure to take Tylenol or ibuprofen in order to minimize your pain, and even if your tooth no longer hurts, you should continue with your appointment. If you notice a hole in the tooth, put oil of cloves onto a piece of gauze and place it onto the site to help with pain.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office at (425) 358-8500 to set up an appointment.