What should I do in case of a dental emergency?

Accidents happen, and especially when it comes to our teeth and mouth, they can be pretty frightening. It’s important to know when home care will suffice and when a trip to our Schaumburg dental office is necessary. Here are some guidelines to help you through common dental emergencies:

Toothache/Sore Gums. Rinse with warm water to remove any food or debris; if you notice anything lodged between teeth, floss to remove it. Take an over the counter pain medication (but never apply the medication directly to tooth or gums), and call Happy Smiles Family Dentistry if the pain persists.

Chipped Tooth. Save the pieces if you can, and rinse them thoroughly. Apply an ice pack or a cold compress to the swollen lip or gum tissue near the chipped tooth to prevent swelling. If the area is bleeding, apply gauze for ten minutes or until the bleeding has stopped. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth. With recent advancements in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, you might not lose your tooth. If there’s enough remaining healthy tooth structure, one of our skilled Schaumburg dentists can create a crown that will “grab onto” your natural tooth, eliminating the need for root removal. While the success of this process, known as “crown lengthening,” depends on the severity of the break, it’s worth asking about options other than complete removal.

Knocked Out Tooth. Find the tooth and, holding it by the crown only, rinse it briefly with warm water. If possible, gently reinsert the tooth into the socket and bite down on gauze or cloth to keep it in place. If you cannot reinsert it, place it in a container of milk or salt-water. See our Schaumburg dentists as soon as possible. If treated within 2 hours, the tooth may be salvaged.

Soft Tissue Injuries. Our gums, cheeks, lips and tongue tend to bleed heavily when they’re injured because these tissues contain a great deal of blood flow. To control the bleeding, first rinse with a warm, mild salt water solution. Apply pressure with gauze or a moistened towel for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, to reduce swelling and help stop residual bleeding, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. In the event of a serious soft tissue injury in which the bleeding is profuse or the damage is visibly traumatic, it’s best to keep applying pressure and go to the emergency room.