How to Care for a Dental Emergency at Home

November 8, 2017

When experiencing a dental emergency, call the dentist right away so they can schedule an appointment for you. Until you get to the dental office there are some things you can do at home, as a preventive, or supportive measure.  However, if the swelling, bleeding or pain is severe, gets progressively worse, or has caused any breathing obstruction, go directly to the emergency room.

Knocked Out Tooth/Crown

If one of your teeth is completely dislodged, there are a few tips to remember. First (after gently rinsing the tooth) try to fit the tooth gently back into the socket. If this isn’t possible (i.e. while sleeping, or in the case of a child) place the tooth in a glass of milk or slightly salted water.

Crowns can fall out much easier than teeth, and there is a process in place that will prevent damage. Before being seen by the dentist, you can clean out the area, dab some petroleum jelly on it and gently try to stick the tooth back in (as above).  This method can work for up to three days while you wait to be seen by a professional. 

Broken Tooth

Taking care of a chipped or cracked tooth can vary in urgency.  Mostly, rinsing with a saltwater solution and applying gauze to any bleeding area will be effective.  Do not apply a topical pain reliever as it can burn.  If possible, save any of the broken pieces of tooth. 

Toothaches and Abscesses

When suffering from a toothache, temporary pain relief is the goal until a dental professional can be seen.  Rinsing with water, using floss to dislodge anything that may be stuck, and applying a cold compress if swollen should help you.

Abscesses are serious and should be treated by a dental or medical professional right away.  In the time between, rinse with a salt water solution, and consider the emergency room if you can’t be seen immediately.

Preparing for Dental Emergencies

Your dentist may have products or can recommend products found at the drug store to prepare an at-home dental emergency kit.  In addition to preparation, many dentists recommend wearing a mouth guard during physical activities and to avoid using your teeth on any inedible object. 

If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Tustin, please call Dr. Brookshire

at (714) 838-3400 immediately.


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