How to Handle the 5 Most Common Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies may seem minor compared with other medical emergencies, but if you’ve ever lost a tooth or been up all night with a toothache, you understand how these small problems can hijack your life. Whether you’ve broken a tooth or lost a filling, you can take a few steps to ease your discomfort and help us remedy the problem more quickly.

Located in Peoria, Arizona, Johnny L. Smith, DMD, provides emergency dentistry, giving patients peace of mind and immediate care. When a dental emergency arises, we’re at your service, but your immediate care can make all the difference.

Here’s a look at how you should handle the five most common dental emergencies.

1. Tooth pain

A toothache can be excruciating because the nerves surrounding your teeth are so very sensitive. With so many reasons why you may have a toothache, our first order of business when you come to see us is to locate the underlying problem. In the meantime, however, you’re still struggling with pain. 

To combat the discomfort, we recommend that you rinse your mouth out with warm water and use a cold compress on the outside of your cheek to numb the nerves. You should also floss to remove any matter that may be irritating your teeth and gums. You can also take some over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, which can provide some pain relief and address any swelling.

Rest assured: When you come in, we’ll get to the bottom of the problem to alleviate your tooth pain.

2. Knocked-out tooth

While your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, accidents happen, and you may lose a tooth due to trauma. If this happens, you should take the following steps so that we can preserve your tooth:

If your tooth doesn’t readily go back into the socket, you can place it inside your cheek for safekeeping until you get to our office. Or you can put it in a jar of milk for transport. Again, our goal here is to salvage the tooth, so please call us as soon as possible because our window is tiny for saving your tooth.

3. Broken tooth

If you’ve broken a tooth, you should follow some of the same instructions we outlined above. To start, try to locate the piece(s) of tooth and rinse them carefully. You should also rinse your mouth carefully. Preserve the pieces of tooth and make an appointment to come see us as soon as possible so we can prevent any further damage.

4. Abscessed tooth

If you suspect you have an abscess in your tooth (the pain is a big indicator), rinse your mouth with warm water and salt —  about one-half teaspoon of salt for every eight ounces of water. You can also apply a cold compress to your cheek and take over-the-counter medications to relieve some of the pain. 

An abscess is an infection, which can spread if left untreated, so making an appointment with us should be your top priority. 

5. Lost filling

If you lose a filling, you can plug the hole with sugar-free gum or use over-the-counter dental cement as a stop-gap measure. Here again, making an appointment with us is important so that we can quickly fill the cavity in to prevent tooth decay from taking hold again.

Whatever your dental emergency, contact Dr. Smith and his team, call 623-972-6137, or book an appointment online

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