What to do in a Dental Emergency
At Alaska Dental Group, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality dental care for our patients. Dental emergencies happen rarely, but they do happen. We want you to be prepared in the event of a broken tooth, severe toothache or even a broken jaw. Below, you will find info and guidelines to help you in the event of a dental emergency, but it is always recommend in the event of a serious emergency that you seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.
Suffering From A Toothache
Toothaches can be caused by many factors, including infection, cavities or trauma caused during a sporting event or accident. If you are experiencing a toothache, begin by cleaning around the sore area with extreme attention to detail. Use warm salt water to clean and rinse the area and gargle the water to remove any debris that are in your mouth or trapped between teeth. Do not take aspirin to provide relief from a toothache! We recommend taking acetaminophen. If the ache causes any facial swelling, use a cold compress on the swelling to calm it down. If pain persists more than 24 hours, make an appointment with us immediately.
Cut Or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
First, if you are bleeding, it’s important to stop the bleeding. Do this by using a sterile piece of gauze or a cloth to apply gentle but consistent pressure to the cut. After bleeding is stopped, use ice to prevent any swelling. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes, you should go to an emergency room to be assessed for possible stitches.
Broken or Chipped Tooth
Breaking and chipping teeth is very common, and can usually be corrected with some cosmetic dental treatment. If you experience a broken or chipped tooth, try to locate the major parts of the tooth tooth or any fragments you can, and place them in a bag. Rinse the area of your mouth that experienced the trauma with warm water, then use ice on the spot to prevent swelling. You need to make an appointment with us immediately so we can assess the damage and fix your tooth.
Knocked Out A Permanent Tooth
Accidents happen, and sometimes our adult teeth are the victims of those accidents. First thing first, if you loose a permanent tooth, attempt to recover the tooth as soon as possible. Always hold the tooth by the crown (the top) not the root (the bottom). Rinse the tooth off, but do not handle it more than in necessary. Attempt to place the tooth back into its socket and see if it will temporarily stay in place until you can make it to a dentist. If it keeps falling out, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water and visit us immediately.
Possible Broken Jaw
If you experience any trauma to the face or jaw and feel your jaw is broken, tie your mouth closed with a towel, scarf or handkerchief by placing the fabric below your chin and tying a knot atop your head. You must go to the emergency room immediately for x-rays.
Bleeding After A Baby Tooth Is Lost
Loosing baby teeth is a natural part of life. Sometimes, if the tooth falls out too soon, it can bleed. Simply use sterile gauze or cloth to cover the bleeding gum area and bite down for 15 minutes. If bleeding doesn’t stop or slow dramatically after that time, see a dentist or head to the emergency room.
Suffering From Cold Sores or Canker Sores
If you randomly get a cold or canker sore, they can be painful, but are temporary. Over the counter medicine from your local drug store can help relieve pain until it heals. If the sores persist, visit your dentist or primary care physician to be evaluated for prescription-strength medication.