In an Emergency
Stay calm. Focus on stopping the bleeding and protecting the injured tooth or area by following the appropriate instructions in this section.
Never take aspirin or ibuprofen for a dental emergency because they are anticoagulants which can cause excessive bleeding. To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Injuries to your teeth and gums can result in infection or other complications -- so make sure you see your Dentist.
If your emergency is life-threatening, dial 911 for Emergency Medical Services or go immediately to a hospital emergency room.
The most common causes are debris lodged under the gum line, a lost filling or crown, a cracked or broken tooth, or an infection. Only a thorough examination by your Dentist can determine the underlying cause of severe pain.
Until you see your Dentist, apply ice to the painful area for 10-20 minutes of every hour. To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Possible Broken Jaw
Do not move your jaw. Secure your jaw in place with a handkerchief, necktie, or towel tied around the jaw and over the top of the head. Use cold compresses to reduce swelling.
Go to the emergency room immediately.
Teeth EmergenciesDEBRIS BETWEEN TEETH
Carefully insert a piece of dental floss (never a sharp or pointed object) between your teeth. Be gentle so you do not cut the gum tissue. If you are unable to remove the object, see your dentist right away.LOOSE TOOTH
Whether removable or fixed, a bridge is attached to abutments that provide an anchor of support.CHIPPED OR BROKEN TOOTH
It may be possible to reattach the pieces to your tooth - only your Dentist can tell you for sure. Take the following steps and see your Dentist right away. Remember to take the pieces with you.
For the injured person:
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it. Apply gauze to the area and use firm pressure to stop the bleeding. Try to find the chipped or broken tooth pieces right away.
- When the bleeding stops, apply a cold compress to the injured area to minimize swelling. If bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of constant, firm pressure, see your dentist or go to the emergency room.
For the chipped or broken tooth:
- Save the tooth's pieces and rinse the pieces and your mouth with warm water.
- If the tooth's pieces are dirty, place a towel or dishcloth in a sink (so the pieces cannot fall into the drain), and gently rinse them.
- Place the pieces in a small container and cover them with milk, water with a pinch of salt, or saliva from the injured person.