As with all medical emergencies, dental emergencies happen. But if you know what to do when a dental emergency1 happens, you may be able to save your teeth. Below are some common emergency dental situations and tips that will help you act quickly to save your teeth.
For Adult Teeth That Have Been Knocked Out
In the event that a tooth or teeth get knocked out of your mouth, pick up the tooth by the crown, not by the root (the root is the bottom part of the tooth while the crown is the part that you bite with). When you touch the root, it can damage the tissue that would help the dentist reimplant the tooth so handle the tooth carefully while en route to the dentist’s office. You will want to keep the tooth and the gum moist. If you can try to re-insert the tooth back into its socket. Be sure that you are putting it back in the right way. If that isn’t possible keep the tooth moist in a cup of milk and come to Cornerstone Dental Center. Call us to let us know that you’re on your way and let us know your situation so that we can get you in to see our dentist right away.
If you lose one of your permanent adult teeth, you’ll probably need an implant to fill the space in the gum where the root of the tooth used to be. If you act fast and the tooth can be re-implanted within an hour, there’s a chance that it will survive. But even with reimplantation, it’s likely that the tooth will need a root canal later. But reimplanting a tooth is more desirable than getting implants because, even if you need a root canal later, you’ll have your own real tooth in place rather than a prosthetic.
For Teeth That Have Been Cracked
If you crack a tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water to clean it and the surrounding gum area. Put a cold compress on your face to keep the swelling to a minimum. Small cracks will need a filling, but larger cracks could require a crown. Teeth that are cracked all the way through may need to be extracted. After extraction, an implant and prosthetic tooth can be used to fill the gap.
If you crack a tooth, but you’re not feeling any pain, then relax. Often, teeth will break and the patient will feel no pain. It’s normal for cracked teeth to be extra sensitive to heat and to cold which just means that dentin in the tooth is exposed. The tooth sensitivity will go away after a few hours or a few days and your saliva will remineralize and insulate the tooth. Make an appointment to see us at Cornerstone Dental Center if you don’t have a lot of pain as a result of the cracked tooth. We’ll do our best to get you in as soon as possible for a consult so that the dentist can take a look at the tooth and decide whether you need a filling, crown, or extraction.
If You’re Bleeding From The Mouth
If you’ve bitten your tongue or your lip and your mouth is bleeding, clean the area with water and then apply a cold compress to the area to keep swelling down and reduce blood loss. Contact a dentist or go to the emergency room if the injury is significant.
If, however, your mouth has been bleeding when you floss, then you might have gum disease or gingivitis. If you see blood in your saliva, you should schedule an appointment2 with us at Cornerstone Dental Center right away for an evaluation. Blood in the saliva can be indicative of cancer or advanced gum disease. The dentist will be able to do a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of the bleeding.
If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction or some other dental procedure and your mouth is bleeding and it won’t stop, you need immediate attention. It’s not normal for bleeding to continue through the night after a procedure. Come to Cornerstone Dental Center for treatment right away. Keep your head elevated above your heart. Call us when you’re on your way to the office to notify us of the problem so that we can have a dentist waiting for you.
Toothaches can indicate a lot of potential problems. It’s good to start by rinsing the mouth with warm water to clean it. Then use dental floss to remove food that may be caught between the teeth. Do NOT use pointy objects to try to remove food or other objects that may be caught between your teeth.
A toothache may be caused by tooth decay, a cavity, or gum disease. Tooth pain can also come from bruxism (grinding your teeth). At Cornerstone Dental Center, we’ll do a thorough exam to discover the cause of the problem so we can fix it.
Precautions To Take To Protect Your Teeth From Accidents and Injury
- If you’re participating in high-contact sports or recreational activities, wear a good mouthguard.
- Don’t chew on ice or hard popcorn kernels. Hard candy can also cause tooth breakage as well as tooth decay. Don’t bite down hard on hard candy.
- Never use your teeth to cut string or other objects. Use scissors instead.