Dental Emergencies


Every day thousands of dental emergencies occur – from mouth and tooth injuries to painful, abscessed teeth.  Are you aware of what needs to be done if your child had a tooth knocked out or broke a tooth while playing?  Knowledge of what to do for dental emergencies can lessen pain and even save a tooth that could otherwise be lost.

  • For a toothache, the mouth can be rinsed with warm water to clean it out.  Dental floss can be used to gently remove bits of food or other debris that might be caught between the teeth.
  • Do not place any painkiller or aspirin on or near the gums near the aching tooth.  The gum tissue could be burned.
  • If a toothache continues and persists for a period of time, come see us.
  • Do not count on painkillers – which may relieve pain temporarily. With persistent pain, we should evaluate your tooth or mouth condition.

Knocked-out tooth:

  • Find the tooth.
  • If the tooth is dirty, hold crown of the tooth and rinse its root in water.
  • Do not scrub the tooth.
  • Do not remove any tissue fragments that remain attached to the tooth.
  • If possible, gently insert the tooth into its socket and hold it in that position.
  • Call us immediately to come in for an emergency / same day appointment.
  • If it is not possible to visit the office quickly then place the tooth in a cup of milk. Bring the tooth in milk when you come to the office.
  • Time is critical for successful tooth re-implantation.

Broken Tooth:

  • Use warm water to rinse your mouth and clean the area.
  • Place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek next to the tooth and affected area, to help reduce swelling.
  • Call our office, 858 459-6224, to schedule an appointment so we can check the broken tooth as soon as possible.

Objects caught between the teeth (such as popcorn):

  • Using dental floss, try to remove the object gently.
  • If object cannot be removed with plain floss, tie a knot in the floss and drag it gently between the teeth. This approach is often quite successful.
  • Do not ever use a sharp instrument to attempt to remove any object stuck between your teeth.
  • If the object cannot be dislodged with floss, call our office, 858 459-6224, for an appointment.
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