The cause of a toothache can be difficult to discern, but the pain can be extremely intense. Call your dentist right away and explain the symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible. It’s okay to take an over-the-counter pain medication that works for you, but don’t chew the pills or place directly on the affected tooth as this can damage enamel and burn the soft tissues in your mouth. Use cold compresses to relieve pain locally, never heat as it will only make the pain worse.
If your toothache is accompanied by swelling in the gums or face, feels hot to the touch, or is radiating pain into your jaw or cheek, you likely have a dental abscess which is a serious infection and needs treatment immediately. If visiting the dentist is not possible right away, go to an emergency room for immediate antibiotic treatment so the infection doesn’t spread or cause cellulitis which can be fatal if left untreated.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
A fractured or chipped tooth can usually be saved but will require quick action from a dentist and possibly a root canal, filling, or crown. The urgency of the situation depends on the severity of pain and if the broken tooth is causing abrasions inside your mouth. Rinse with warm water to clean the area and use cold compresses to keep swelling down until you reach your dentist.
Tooth Knocked Out
A displaced tooth can often take root again if put back into place within about 45 minutes. After 2 hours, chances are slim so this is a situation that needs immediate attention. If the tooth appears clean and came from an adult who isn’t likely to swallow it, rinse it gently with water and place it back in the socket by holding the crown of the tooth, taking care not to touch the root. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in cold milk (or saliva if milk is not available) and seek urgent help from the nearest dentist.
For Kids: A baby tooth (primary tooth) won’t be reimplanted but you should still call the dentist as your child should be checked to ensure no tooth fragments are left behind to cause irritation or infection.
Tissue Damage in the Mouth
A badly bitten or lacerated lip, cheek, or tongue can lose an alarming amount of blood. Clean the area with warm water and apply pressure quickly with a clean cloth. Use cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain, and seek medical attention at your nearest Emergency Department if the bleeding doesn’t stop or if the injury is causing serious pain.
Contact Stonegate Dental
You should always contact a dentist for the following emergencies as soon as possible. If the office is closed, please contact us directly and we will respond as soon as she can.