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Dental Emergencies - Helpful Tips

Sometimes dental emergencies happen at the most inopportune time, and you just can’t get into the dental office…Friday night as you are getting ready to go out for dinner, Christmas morning, the day of your daughter’s wedding, etc. Here are a few tips that can help you get through until you can make that appointment.

Permanent or Temporary Crown off- Look inside the crown to see if any tooth or cement is broken off inside. If there looks like there is a lot of tooth structure and the crown will not stay on your tooth, do not attempt to put the crown back on until you see a dentist. Make sure you can fit a crown on your tooth properly, without it affecting the way you bite. Dry the inside of the crown and your tooth as well as you can with a Q-tip or tissue. You can either buy a temporary cement kit at a drugstore or you can use a little bit of denture adhesive or toothpaste to keep the crown on your tooth until you can get to a dentist for a more permanent solution. You should not use household glues because they are not safe to put in your mouth and may also damage the tooth or crown.

Broken tooth or lost filling-While there’s not much you can do to repair a broken tooth without a dentist, if there is a sharp piece that is hurting your tongue or lip, you can try to gently file the broken piece with an emery board or nail file to alleviate the abrasion. You can also use temporary filling material bought at a drug store to fill in the space left by the broken tooth to prevent sensitivity and food impaction.

Swelling/infection-If you have a tooth or area of the mouth that is swelling or has a buildup/drainage of pus and you cannot get to a dentist’s office, you should go as soon as possible to your doctor or the emergency room. They should be able to prescribe an antibiotic until you can get into a dentist. If you are a patient of record, you can call our dental office for the emergency on-call doctor and they will call in an antibiotic until we can see you.

Ulcer-If you have a gum irritation or ulcer that you are concerned about, you can rinse with warm salt or use an over the counter oral gel to soothe the area until you can schedule a dentist appointment. Clove oil is another homeopathic remedy that can help with gum pain. Do not place aspirin on your tooth or gum. It will cause a chemical burn and make the ulcer worse.

Discomfort after dental treatment-Depending on the type of procedure you have just gone through, you may be experiencing some soreness in facial or jaw muscles, gum sensitivity, tooth sensitivity, and/or some mild bruising where you had an injection or treatment done. Taking some ibuprofen if you are able, rinsing with warm salt water, sticking to a soft diet, and moderating your food and drinks so that they are not too hot or cold can help alleviate those symptoms. If symptoms persist for more than a few days or get worse, call your dentist for a post-operatory appointment.