Accidents happen every day. Do you know what to do if you or a family member suffers a dental emergency, such as a broken tooth or sudden, severe swelling?
We’ve compiled this list of a few common dental dilemmas and quick steps to take that can help relieve pain, prevent further damage, and possibly even save a tooth.
If you have a broken tooth:
- Save any pieces of the tooth you can.
- Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water.
- Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
- Call us right away at 206.440.0065. We will do our best to get you in for an emergency appointment.
If you knock a tooth out:
- Retrieve the tooth if possible. Hold it by the crown (the part of the tooth that sits above the gums), not the root.
- Rinse the tooth gently with water. Do not scrub it!
- If possible, place the tooth back in its socket, making sure it faces the right way. Do not force it! If you’re able to reinsert it, this helps preserve the tooth until you can get to our office.
- If it’s not possible to reinsert, put the tooth in a small sealed container with milk.
- Call us right away at 206.440.0065. Teeth have the highest chances of being saved if they can be returned to the socket within one hour of being knocked out.
If you experience sudden, severe pain and/or swelling:
- Rinse your mouth out thoroughly with warm salt water.
- If possible, floss gently; this could remove any irritating lodged food particles.
- Apply a cold compress to ease pain and swelling.
- Call us right away; a sudden toothache and/or swelling may be caused by an abscess, which can have serious consequences if not treated immediately.
If you have a bleeding soft-tissue injury (tongue, cheeks, gums, or lips):
- Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water.
- Use moistened gauze (or even a tea bag) to apply pressure to the bleeding area. Hold in place for 15-20 minutes or until the bleeding subsides.
- Hold a cold compress to the affected area to control bleeding and relieve pain.
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call us right away or go to the emergency room.
Bookmark this page for reference for future emergencies, should they arise. Save our phone number in your phone in case you need to call for an emergency appointment: 206.440.0065.
If you have an emergency kit for your family, make sure to include floss, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. If you don’t have an emergency kit, create one using the suggestions found here: http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
Simple Precautions to Avoid Dental Emergencies
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports.
- Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and other foods that could cause damage.
- Brush and floss regularly to maintain strong, healthy teeth.
Our Shoreline dental practice is ready to help you deal successfully with any dental disaster that comes your way! Even though accidents happen without warning, you can do your part to avoid serious calamity by keeping your teeth strong and healthy with regular dental checkups.
Do you have your next cleaning scheduled yet? If not, call us today to book your next appointment!