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Common Dental Emergencies & What to Do About Them

added on: March 23, 2017
dental emergency

Nobody ever wants to experience an emergency of any kind, and dental emergencies can be particularly concerning and confusing. What’s the right thing to do? What shouldn’t you do? Don’t worry, our dental office in St. Joseph is here to help.

Different Emergencies Require Different Care

Not all dental emergencies should be handled the same way, so we’ve outlined some of the most common emergencies and what you can do if they happen to you or a family member. No matter what type of emergency you have, a good rule of thumb is to call your St. Joseph dentist as soon as you can.

Chipped or Broken Tooth – First, rinse the mouth and any broken pieces you happen to find with warm water. If there’s blood involved, apply gauze and a bit of pressure to help stop it. Swelling and pain can be reduced with a cold compress.

Knocked Out Tooth – The key to saving a knocked out tooth is to find it as quickly as possible. Once you do, make sure to only touch the tooth crown, not the roots. You can then try to replace the tooth into the socket. If that’s not working, place the tooth in a glass of milk and get to a dentist. Your tooth has the best chance of survival if it’s returned to the socket within an hour.

ToothacheA toothache is typically a sign of a bigger problem and shouldn’t be ignored. Get to your dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime, relieve pain with a cold compress and some medicine. A quick rinse with warm salt water can help too. Whatever you do, do NOT place aspirin directly on the gums as it can cause tissue damage.

Lost Filling – If a filling falls out, it may cause pain because essentially there’s now a hole in your tooth. While you’re waiting to get to the dentist you can buy dental cement at most drugstores that can fill the space. If that’s not an option, a piece of sugarless gum is a short-term fix. Do NOT use gum with sugar as that will increase the pain

At our St. Joseph dental office, we’re in the business of keeping smiles healthy, and we never want one of our patients to have a dental emergency. But the truth is, emergencies happen. When they do, we welcome you to call our office for help.

Accepting patients from St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, South Bend and beyond. 


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