If you are experiencing a dental emergency, reach out to Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch right away. Walk-ins are welcome at our family dental office.
To Help Minimize Pain For A Dental Emergency
To minimize pain during a dental emergency, try the following steps:
- Take Tylenol as directed on the bottle or packaging label.
- If your mouth is bleeding, stay calm. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or Aleve). These drugs are blood thinners (anticoagulants) and could make the bleeding worse.
- Apply an ice pack to the area in pain for up to 20 minutes every hour.
- Injured teeth and gums can create infections and other complications; contact your dentist as soon as possible.
- If your emergency is life-threatening, call 911 or go to the hospital emergency room.
Clean out your mouth by rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that may be trapped between your teeth or just under your gum line. If your tooth continues to hurt, see your dentist discuss emergency dental services as soon as possible. The team at Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch offers skilled tooth extraction if necessary. But our general dental services can determine what the issues is and bring your oral health back up.
You may experience discomfort for a day or two after dental braces or retainers have been adjusted. To help alleviate pain, rinse your mouth with warm salt water or take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Follow the steps below to address small daily concerns that occasionally occur to braces wearers.
- Food trapped between teeth: While this occurs often, it is not a dental emergency. To dislodge the food, try tying a small knot in the middle of some dental floss, or use an interproximal brush or toothpick.
- Piece of appliance inhaled: Call 911 immediately and go to the hospital emergency room for treatment.
- Piece of appliance swallowed: Call your dentist or orthodontist to discuss appropriate steps.
- A poking wire: Call your orthodontist to describe the situation and schedule an appointment. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with dental wax (available over the counter at your pharmacy).
- Bracket knocked off: Call your orthodontist to describe the situation and schedule an appointment. If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out, attempt to turn it back into its normal position. To minimize the loose brace movement, use dental wax (available over the counter at your pharmacy).
- Lost wire or ligature: If you found the rubber ligature, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If not, you may need to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
- Mouth sores: If your mouth sores are caused by having new braces, apply a topical anesthetic (available over-the-counter at your pharmacy). To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Swelling or Abscess
If your gums hurt or begin to swell, see your dentist right away because gum pain or swelling can be symptoms of an abscess (infection) that forms in gum tissue or a tooth’s root. There are many reasons why gums can swell, become painful, or abscess. The only way to identify the underlying cause is by a thorough exam by your dentist. You may need to seek emergency dental services if you are experiencing this pain. If the abscess ruptures, you may experience a sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting fluid from the swollen or painful area. Rinse your mouth with warm water immediately and call your dentist.
Chipped, Broken, or Knocked Out Tooth
If you’ve chipped or broken a tooth, it may be possible to reattach the pieces to your tooth, but only your dentist can tell you for sure. Take the following steps and see your dentist right away, as it may be a dental emergency:
- Remember to take the pieces with you.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it and apply gauze to the area. 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 ten minutes of constant, firm pressure, see your dentist or go to the emergency room.
- Save the tooth’s pieces and gently rinse with warm water. Do not touch the root of the tooth.
- Place the pieces in a small container and cover them with milk, water with a pinch of salt, or saliva from the injured person.
When a child’s non-permanent or baby tooth is damaged, call your dentist right away. Our pediatric dentists can get your child the treatment they need. If the child’s baby tooth is completely knocked out, chances are it cannot be re-implanted. If this happens, the missing tooth will be replaced naturally when the child’s permanent (adult) tooth grows in.
If you’ve knocked out an adult tooth (permanent), you have a one-to-two-hour window in which the tooth has a chance for re-implantation of dental implants, but only your dentist can tell you for sure. Take the following steps and see your dentist right away to seek dental services. Remember to take your protected tooth with you.
Lost Filling or Crown
If a filling or dental implant is knocked out or otherwise lost, you can relieve pain caused by air in contact with the exposed part of your tooth using clove oil (available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets). Just dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the exposed part of your tooth. But keep the following in mind for when a filling or crown is lost:
- Dislodged Filling: If you can locate the filling, put it in a safe place and take it with you when you see your dentist.
- Crown: If you can find the dental crown, you may temporarily replace it yourself until you see your dentist. Gently clean any debris from inside of the crown and call your dentist to schedule an appointment.
Putting an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts also may relieve the pain. Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you believe you may need to seek emergency dental services.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
A small cut (less than 1/4 inch) is likely to heal itself. Carefully wipe the area clean with gauze or cloth and apply a cold compress, ice pack, or small bag of frozen fruit or vegetables to the area to minimize swelling. However, if the cut is larger than 1/4 inch or bleeding does not stop after ten minutes of cold treatment, go to the emergency room for emergency dental services.
Burned Roof of Mouth
Eating very hot food or drinks can damage the roof of your mouth. If sores have not healed after ten days, see your dentist.
In the meantime, use warm salt water rinses (1/8 of a teaspoon in 8 ounces of water) after meals to keep the area clean. If pain relief is needed, use a topical oral anesthetic (found over-the-counter at your pharmacy). You can also take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.