Dental Emergencies

Knocked Out Tooth

If a tooth has been knocked out, or avulsed, it is important to place the tooth back in the socket as soon as possible.  After placing the tooth back, go directly to a dentist.  The tooth would then be splinted in place.

If you are unable to place it into the socket, get to the dentist within 30 minutes for the best chance of success.  Do not touch or wipe off the root of the tooth and do not wrap it in tissue or gauze.  Place it in a cup of milk, seal the container to keep the tooth moist, and get the patient and tooth to the dentist as soon as possible.

Tooth Ache

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean out any debris.  Use floss to remove any food trapped between the teeth.  If swelling is present, place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek.  Do not use heat and do not place an aspirin on the tooth or gums. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Small chips that do not expose the center of the tooth do not require immediate attention, although a dentist should see the patient soon to evaluate the problem.  For larger breaks, gently clean debris from the injured area with warm water.  Place cold compresses on the face in the area of the injured tooth, to minimize swelling and relieve pain.  Go to your dentist soon.

Bleeding Lip, Tongue, or Mouth

Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth.  If swelling is present, apply cold compresses.  If the bleeding does not stop, go directly to the emergency room.

Objects Wedged Between Teeth

First, try to remove the object with dental floss, gently guiding the floss to avoid cutting the gums.  If not successful, call your dentist.  Do not try to remove the object with sharp pointed instruments; this may cut the gums or damage the tooth.  Go to your dentist.

Lost Filling

If you are unable to get to your dentist, place soft wax, over-the-counter dental cement, or sugarless gum into the cavity as a temporary measure. Go to your dentist soon. 

Lost Crown

If your crown comes off, see your dentist as soon as possible.  If unable to go soon, you can use over-the-counter dental cement to coat the inside surface and place it on your tooth.  You could also try toothpaste or denture adhesive.  If unable to place the crown over the tooth, do not wait too many days before seeing your dentist.  Do not forget to bring the crown with you.  

Abscess or Infection

Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth and can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.  See your dentist as soon as possible.  You may find a swelling of your jaw or face.  Or you may find a pimple-like lesion inside your mouth that drains into your mouth.  Until you see your dentist, you could rinse the area with a mild salt water solution. Do not place heat on the infection.

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Novi Family Dentist


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