What is a Dental Emergency?
Sometimes it is hard to tell if something is a dental emergency or not. How do you know when it is time to take emergency action? Here are some reasons to contact your dentist for emergency treatment:
Bleeding from the mouth
Loose teeth (not including primary teeth)
If you’ve been hit in the face or mouth
Swelling in the facial or mouth area
Bulges, swelling, or knots in the gums
Extreme pain caused by hot or warm food and beverages
Severe sensitivity to cold
Painful to breathe in air
Pain in a tooth when biting down
Are you in pain? Call us at (503) 649-5665
How Do You Prevent Dental Emergencies?
Dental emergencies happen. We know that it can be impossible to prevent every accident and every possible cause for a dental emergency. However, here are some tips that can help avoid an emergency visit to the dentist’s office.
Wear mouth protection during sports activities – especially those that include contact sports and hard surfaces
Schedule routine dental checkups regularly to allow the dentist to spot any issues that can be addressed before they become a dental emergency
Follow a rigorous and consistent oral hygiene routine that includes brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing the teeth daily.
Do not chew ice, popcorn kernels or hard candy (these can all crack a tooth)
Never use teeth to cut things. Always use scissors.
What if a Dental Emergency Occurs?
If you suspect a dental emergency, call our office. When you call us, describe the symptoms in as much detail as possible. This will help us determine if you are experiencing a dental emergency.
Here are some tips for handling common dental emergencies:
This is only a major concern for permanent teeth. Place the tooth (or teeth) back in the mouth without interfering with the tooth’s root if possible. If not, place the tooth between the cheek and gums or in a glass of milk until you can get to your dentist’s office. The sooner you can get to the dentist’s office, the more likely the dentist will be able to save the tooth and reinsert it. Be sure to not wipe the tooth off as it may have part of the tooth’s root attached. You want to keep all aspects of the tooth in order to have more success for reinsertion.
Rinse the mouth with warm water (or a warm salt water solution). Use dental floss to gently floss the area and remove any food that may be stuck between the teeth. For severe discomfort, ibuprofen or motrin can be taken.
Biting tongue or lip:
If you bit your tongue, lip or cheek rinse the area out with warm water to help clean the area. Use a cold compress on the area to reduce pain or swelling. If bleeding cannot be controlled, go to the emergency room or schedule an appointment to us immediately.