Dental Emergencies

Abscess

dental abscess

Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess,

see your dentist as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water solution several times a day.

Broken Orthodontic Wire
broken orthodontic wire

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or a piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist’s office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.

Loose Orthodontic Wire
loose orthodontic wire

Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax, placing the wax over the bracket to provide a cushion for your mouth. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band (the ring around your molar), save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it replaced.

Lost Crown
lost crown

If a crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, try to place the crown back on the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter temporary dental cement, toothpaste, or denture glue, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!

Lost Filling
lost filling

As a temporary measure, use an over-the-counter dental cement, or any dental wax to cover the tooth. Call us as soon as possible.

Soft-Tissue Injury
soft tissue injury

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding.

To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:

  • Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Use a moistened piece of gauze or a tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site.

  • Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bleeding stops. Hold a cold compress to the outside of the cheek near the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.

If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.

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