Answering Common Questions About Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice, and when they do, you’ll want to know how to react accordingly. Hopefully you’re reading this post before a dental emergency occurs, but it may not be a bad idea to bookmark this page so that you’ll have answers to your questions in the event you or a family member has a tooth emergency down the road. Below, we answer some common questions about dental trauma and emergencies.

Common Question About Dental Emergencies

When it comes to dental emergencies, these are the top-of-mind topics among patients.

What should I do if a tooth is knocked loose or knocked out?

If the tooth isn’t fully dislodged, leave it in your mouth but be careful not to swallow it. If it’s dislodged, keep it moist as best you can. You can keep it in your gums, stored in a glass of milk or in a tooth preservation liquid that you can find at the pharmacy. Once you’ve found a way to keep it moist, get to a dentist’s office.

What should I do if my child loses a tooth?

If your child loses one of their permanent teeth, follow the steps listed above. If a traumatic action causes them to lose a baby tooth, examine the area and find the tooth if you can. You want to ensure the whole tooth has been dislodged and not just partially chipped off. If the full baby tooth has been lost, you’ll just want to monitor for signs of swelling or bleeding over the next few days. If you can’t tell if the full tooth has been dislodged, or your child is complaining of tooth pain, head to the dentist and bring the tooth with you if possible.

What should I do for a cracked tooth?

If you bite into a gumball and notice that your tooth has cracked, you’re going to be in a little bit of pain. The best thing you can do is to wash your mouth with warm water and then use an ice pack or cold compress on your cheek or jaw to reduce swelling. Contact your dentist and see if they can see you that same day.

How to treat a tongue bite?

Biting your tongue can be painful, but it doesn’t always require a trip to the dentist or emergency room. If you bit your tongue during athletic activity and pain doesn’t go away, or you can’t get it to stop bleeding, you’ll want to head into a dentist or emergency room office.

How to treat a broken jaw?

If you suffered trauma to your jaw and believe it may be broken, apply an ice pack to help with the swelling. If symptoms seem to fade within 15-30 minutes, it might just be a bruise. If pain remains intense or you have difficulty chewing, eating or talking, contact your dentist or head into the emergency room.

I can’t get something unstuck from between my teeth?

If something is lodged in your teeth, use dental floss or a dental stick to try and remove it. Avoid using toothpicks or other sharp objects that could hurt your gums. If you still can’t get it removed, your dentist will be able to, so give them a call and set up an appointment.

How can I prepare for a dental emergency?

There are a couple of ways to prepare for a dental emergency. For starters, if you have a first aid kit in your vehicle, make sure you have floss and tooth preservation fluid in the kit as well. It’s also a good idea to bookmark this link and save the number of your dental professional in your phone or on a piece of paper in the first aid kit. To talk to Dr. Brooks’ office at Smiles for Life Dental in Bloomington, call us at (952) 888-2300.

Dental Emergency

Preventing & Dealing With Dental Emergencies

Hopefully, you never need emergency dental work, but it’s a risk we run every time we get behind the wheel, take part in athletics or simply go about our daily lives. So what should you do in a dental emergency and how do you know if you require emergency dental assistance? Here’s how to go about preventing and dealing with dental emergencies.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

As is the case with any medical or dental ailment, preventing the condition is much preferred to treating it. Here are some tips for preventing dental emergencies.

  • Wear a Mouthguard – If you’re playing a sport, even if it’s not a physical sport, consider adding a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
  • Watch What You Chew – Jawbreakers, popcorn kernels and ice are all hard objects that can result in a broken or cracked tooth if chewed on recklessly, so be careful when chewing hard objects.
  • Your Mouth Is Not A Tool – Don’t try to rip open that plastic encasing or unscrew a stuck bottle cap with your teeth, otherwise you can end up with a cracked tooth or open wound.
  • Know Your Limits – If you’re biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, waterskiing or participating in any recreational activities that could cause mouth damage if you fall, know your limits and stay in control so as not to fall. And be sure to wear a helmet!

Responding To Dental Emergencies

Let’s say that despite your best efforts, you or your child has suffered an injury to their mouth. What should you do?

If you’ve lost one of your permanent teeth, try to locate the tooth and rinse it off if possible. You’re going to want to get to a dentist’s office as soon as possible, but you also have to care for your tooth in the meantime. You want to keep the tooth moist, and you can do this in a couple of ways. Sometimes you can actually place the tooth back in its socket, and it will remain there, albeit loosely. If that’s too painful or not possible, you can put it between your cheek and gums, in a glass of milk, or in a tooth preservation product until you can get to a dentist’s office.

If you’ve suffered a cracked tooth, remove any food particles from your mouth and rinse with warm water. Then use an icepack on the outside of your mouth nearest the cracked tooth to help prevent swelling from setting in, and again make your way to the dentist as soon as possible.

Finally, if an object is caught in your mouth and causing pain, try to remove it using dental floss. If you cannot remove the object with floss, call your dentist and try to set up an appointment as soon as possible so they can remove the object. Do not use sharp or pointed tools to try and remove the object. Floss usually works better and it doesn’t risk damaging your teeth.

Hopefully, you’ll never need emergency dental work, but if you do, stay calm and reach out to Dr. Brooks right away.