Dental emergencies take a wide variety of forms, and it’s important that you get treatment as soon as possible if you experience one. Although they do not always involve pain, dental pain is a common sign that something needs urgent attention. Same-day treatment can make a big difference to your dental health and prognosis.
Loosened, knocked-out, chipped or broken tooth
If your tooth has been loosened or knocked out, your dentist will check to see if it’s possible to re-implant the tooth. If your tooth does gets knocked out, keep it moist, either by placing it back in the socket (avoiding touching the root), or placing it between your cheek and gum or even in milk. If you are bleeding, apply gauze to the area until the bleeding stops and rinse with a mild saltwater solution to clean the area. A cold compress on the outside of your mouth can help to reduce swelling and keep your pain to a minimum. Then high-tail it to your dentist’s office for the best chance of saving your tooth!
A toothache is a pain in or around your tooth. The pain may be sharp or dull, and a majority of the time the cause is a cavity (tooth decay)! You can prevent cavities by regularly flossing and brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and seeing your hygienist regularly for a professional cleaning. If you have a toothache, you should see your dentist as cavities need immediate treatment to prevent further damage. Other known causes of toothaches can be abscess, gum disease, or injury.
Object caught between teeth
Try to remove the object using dental floss. Be very gentle, and don’t use pins or sharp objects as these can cut your gums and scratch your tooth enamel, causing potential future problems. If you cannot get the object out with careful flossing, see your dentist.
Lost filling or crown
If you’ve had a dental restoration – that is, a filling or a crown – that has become loose, damaged or has fallen out. Please see your dentist right away as this is considered to be a dental emergency. If it’s a filling you’ve lost, place a piece of sugar-free gum or over-the-counter dental cement in the cavity as a stop-gap measure. Losing a filling or a crown can impact your ability to talk and eat. If you can, save the lost parts and see your dentist immediately.
Broken or loose braces
Got a broken brace wire? Use an eraser to push it into a more comfortable position. If you can’t, cover it with orthodontic wax, cotton ball, or gauze until your dentist can fix it. Please know that a brace wire should never be cut if it becomes loose or broken as this can cause worse damage. If your braces are loose, use orthodontic wax to temporarily reattach them and see your orthodontist ASAP.
Dental abscess are caused by bacterial infections and can cause throbbing pain. If you have a painful, pimple-like swelling on your gum, you probably have an abscess and need to see your dentist as soon as possible. To help ease the pain, rinse your mouth with ½ tsp of salt in 1 cup of water several times a day until you’re able to see your dentist.
It’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible if you have a dental emergency, injury, or you’re experiencing a toothache. Is “see your dentist” a broken refrain yet? Good, because if you have a dental emergency we want you to come in and see us! At Bow Tail Dental, we do our utmost to see you on the same day you call us if you have a dental emergency.