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Pain is your body’s signal that something is wrong. It also means it’s time to seek treatment for something you might have been putting off for awhile. Not sure if your problem is a dental emergency? Here’s what constitutes a dental emergency, plus some simple steps you can take to minimize pain before you see your emergency dentist:
Bitten Lip or Tongue — Clean the area and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room.
Broken Tooth — Save any pieces of the broken tooth and rinse your mouth out with warm water. Apply a cold compress to the area to decrease swelling and pain until you can be seen by an emergency dentist.
Broken Jaw — Apply a cold compress to limit swelling and see your dentist right away.
Knocked Out Tooth — Gently rinse off the knocked out tooth without removing any attached tissue. If possible, hold the tooth in place in the socket. Otherwise, put the tooth in a glass of milk and get to an emergency dentist right away.
Object Stuck in Teeth — Carefully try to remove the object with dental floss. (Don’t try using a sharp instrument instead!) If you’re unable to dislodge the object with dental floss, contact your dentist.
Toothache — Rinse your mouth out with warm water. Then use dental floss to make sure there isn’t any food or other debris causing the pain. If the pain persists, call your dentist.
Lost Dental Filling or Dental Crown — For dental fillings, seal the area with a piece of sugarless gum or over-the-counter dental cement. If a dental crown has come loose, try to put it back in place with dental cement. If that doesn’t work, bring it with you to the dentist.
Dental Abscess — If you notice a painful, pimple-like swelling on your gums, rinse with salt water and immediately contact an emergency dentist. Dental abscesses can lead to more serious infections if not treated promptly.
The Best Defense Is a Good Offense
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to help prevent a dental emergency. Along with regular brushing and flossing, avoid chewing on ice, hard candy or popcorn kernels, which could potentially crack teeth without you even knowing. And don’t force your teeth to tear open a package — use the scissors instead. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard to cushion your teeth from excessive force or trauma.
Regular dental visits allow your dentist to diagnose and treat dental problems before they become more severe or painful. But even with the best planning and dental care, accidents happen.
If you think you have a dental emergency that needs immediate attention, we may be able to find you an emergency dentist you can see right away.