What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

While we can do our best to have great oral health habits, dental emergencies can still happen. If an emergency involving your teeth occurs, it’s important to stay calm and call your Tempe dentist right away. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies and what you can do while you’re waiting for your emergency appointment.

Toothache. A toothache that doesn’t go away or that continually comes back can be a sign of a serious problem. If you experience a severe toothache, call the dentist right away. You can temporarily ease the pain by rinsing with warm water or warm salt water to help rinse the area of bacteria or food caught in your teeth that might be contributing to the pain. If you’re experiencing swelling, use a cold compress on the outside of your cheek or mouth.

Broken or Chipped Tooth. If you or your child chips a tooth, it’s important to stay calm. Call the dentist as quickly as you can, and in the meantime, rinse the mouth with warm water and try to save any broken pieces of tooth if possible. Keep the pieces in a cup of milk or saliva and bring them with you to the appointment. The dentist may be able to reattach the chipped pieces with special glue. Don’t try to reattach it yourself with any household adhesives. If there’s bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply slight pressure by either holding it in place with your hand or biting down on it until the bleeding stops.

Crown Dislodged or Lost. If you’ve had a crown placed and it has come loose or come off completely, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Make an appointment as soon as possible, and while you’re waiting, rinse with warm salt water to wash away debris. Like a chipped tooth, it’s important to never use any household adhesives in your mouth.

Abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. They happen as a result of severe tooth decay or broken or chipped teeth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the rest of your body. Persistent pain can be a sign of an abscessed tooth.

If you experience any of these or other dental emergencies, call us right away.