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Being prepared for a dental emergency is no accident.

Knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Our office has some tips!

Dental Emergency Procedures


Over the Counter Pain Medication:    If you can take Tylenol (acetaminophen) and/or Advil (ibuprofen), they are good options.  For more severe pain, the two medications can be combined.  An example would be to take two ibuprofen (200mg each) and a tylenol together or alternating every 2-3 hours.  This combination is very effective in treating pain.   Maximum adult dosage  is 3200mg for ibuprofen and 3000mg for acetaminaphen.  Aleve (naproxen sodium) is another effective over the counter pain medicine and is in the same family as Advil (along with aspirin).  The maximum adult dosage of Aleve is 1,500mg.  Do not take any medications that you are allegic to or medications that have an adverse reaction to your current medications or your health. 

Knocked-Out Tooth: Hold the tooth by the crown, and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it is dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.        ******If possible, gently put the tooth back in its socket and do not eat on or mess with the tooth.  ASAP, time is very important.******         If that isn't possible, put the tooth in your cheek to hold or in a cup of your saliva (or  in a cup of milk if the frist two aretn possible)  and call your dentist as quickly as possible. Don't  forget to take the tooth with you!

Possible Broken Jaw: Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Call your dentist or go to a hospital emergency room immediately.  Typically, a broken jaw will be managed by head and neck surgeons such as  oral maxillofacial surgeons, ENT surgeons, or plastic surgeons. 

Bitten Tongue or Lip: Clean the area gently with a cloth, and apply cold compresses to keep swelling down. It is normal for the oral tissues to bleed heavily inically becasuse it is a highly vascular area and mixing with saliva increases the volume.   If bleeding is excessive or doesn't stop in a short period of time, call your dentist or go to a hospital emergency room.

Broken Tooth: Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean and brush normally if the tooth is not too senstive. It is normal for a broken tooth to be sensitve to cold, air, and sometimes hot.   Call your dentist for an evaluation.

Objects Caught Between Teeth: Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If you are not successful call your dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.

Toothache: Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Use dental floss to remove any food that may be trapped between the teeth. Please take (by mouth) over the counter pain medications (Tylenol, Advil) if you can.  Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. Call your dentist for an evaluation.

Swelling of Gum:  Rinse the mouth with warm salt water to clean it out and perform oral hygiene as best as you can.  Call your dentist for an evaluation.  Many times, independantly or in combination with dental treatment, antibiotics can be helpful in addressing the immediate swelling (not the underlying cause) for either a tooth or gum abscess.   If not able to see a dentist immediately, an urgent care facility can sometimes treat the infection with an antibitoic until a definitive dental treatment can be performed.