How To Handle Tooth Emergencies And Injuries

May 1, 2018

A big tooth injury, like a knocked-out or chipped tooth, can be frightening. What can you do if you can’t get to your dentist right away? The first thing to remember is to remain calm when you experience a dental injury or emergency, and then take steps to recover your damaged tooth before you get to the dentist’s office.

Knocked-Out Teeth

One dental emergency you might experience is a knocked-out tooth. If the tooth is completely removed from the gum, clean the tooth gently with water and hold it by the crown, which is the part you see. Don’t scrub the tooth, because it can be damaged. See if you can reattach the tooth to the gum, but don’t try to shove it in. If that does not work, place the tooth in a cup of milk or saline water. Keeping the tooth moist makes it more likely that the dentist can reattach it.

If you are bleeding from the socket from which the tooth came, apply gauze and pressure to the opening. If you continue bleeding, contact your doctor or your dentist right away.

Chipped Teeth

If you’ve chipped your tooth, there might be a chance you can reattach the broken piece if you take the right steps. Retrieve the chipped part of the tooth and place it in a baggie or container with some water to keep it moist. Rinse your mouth with warm water to keep it clean. If your mouth is swollen, use a cold compress, like an ice pack, and press it against your face to decrease the swelling. Your dentist will then determine whether he or she can reattach the chipped or broken part of the tooth.

Loose Teeth

Sometimes, we experience injuries that don’t knock out or chip the teeth, but might dislodge them a bit from their socket. When this happens, gently try to reposition the tooth. Don’t use too much strength, because that can damage it and the gums around it. On the way to your dentist’s office, try to stabilize the tooth with gauze so it does not fall out on the way there. Again, if your mouth is swollen, use something cold to press on your face to decrease the swelling and lessen the pain.

In all dental emergencies and injuries, try to get to your dentist’s office immediately. Don’t hesitate, because you can cause even more damage.