As frightening as a dental emergency can be, it is important that you keep a level head and act fast. Taking appropriate actions can reduce your pain and minimize the damage to your oral health. On this page, we explain some tips to help you cope with common dental emergencies. As always, remember that even though you can do some things on your own to handle the situation, you should never neglect to get professional help. The team at Four Town Dental is proud to provide prompt, efficient, and compassionate emergency dental care.
If food or some other sort of debris gets lodged between your teeth, you could suffer pain and damage to your gums and dental enamel. Whatever you do, do not use a knife or other sharp item to try to get the object out; doing so might cause further damage to your mouth. Instead, tie a knot in a piece of floss, insert the floss between your teeth, and move it back and forth in the affected area. You might also find it helpful to rinse your mouth with warm water to try to loosen the offending item.
An extruded tooth is one that is partially dislodged. It has not come entirely out of the mouth, but it is still in danger of being lost. This type of injury requires immediate treatment; the sooner we see you, the more likely it is that we will be able to splint the tooth back into place. Before you get to our office, you can take ibuprofen or another over the counter pain reliever to soothe your discomfort. You can try to reposition the tooth in its socket, but you must be extremely careful with it. Do not use it to bite or chew anything.
An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that is the result of an infection. It may form near a tooth’s root or between a tooth and the gums. In a worst case scenario, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause systemic illness, which is why prompt treatment is so important. You may need root canal therapy or possibly even an extraction. Before your emergency appointment, rinsing with a saltwater solution multiple times a day may help to ease your pain.
If your gums, lips, cheeks, or tongue are bleeding, you can try placing sugar-free gum on the site to stem the flow. Then, use a cold compress to reduce swelling and inflammation. If the injury is severe, however, you should not try to tough it out. A trip to the local emergency room may be in order; a doctor might determine that you need sutures. You should visit us for follow-up care after the bleeding is under control so we can assess the injury’s effect on your oral health.