If you are experiencing a dental emergency, reach out to Lovett Dental Corpus Christi at 361-986-1117 right away. If you are dealing with any of the following, proceed as directed and reach out to a dental health professional.
Are You Experiencing Oral Pain?
If you find yourself experiencing a sudden toothache or even a persistent ache that has now grown into something more severe, then consider doing the following:
- Take Tylenol as directed on the bottle or packaging label.
- If your mouth is bleeding, stay calm. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or Aleve). These drugs are blood thinners (anticoagulants) and could make the bleeding worse.
- Apply an ice pack to the area in pain for up to 20 minutes every hour.
- Injured teeth and gums can create infections and other complications; contact your dentist as soon as possible.
- If your emergency is life-threatening, call 911 or go to the hospital emergency room for emergency medical service.
Clean out your mouth by rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that may be trapped between your teeth or just under your gum line. If your tooth continues to hurt, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Are You Experiencing Pain Associated with Braces?
For a day or two after braces or retainers have been adjusted, you may experience discomfort. To help alleviate pain, rinse your mouth with warm salt water or take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Follow the steps below to address small daily concerns that occasionally occur to braces wearers:
- Food trapped between teeth — While this occurs often, it is not a dental emergency. To dislodge the food, try tying a small knot in the middle of some dental floss, or use an interproximal brush or toothpick.
- Piece of appliance inhaled — Call 911 immediately and go to the hospital emergency room for treatment.
- Piece of appliance swallowed — Call your dentist or orthodontist to discuss appropriate steps.
- A poking wire — Call your orthodontist to describe the situation and schedule an appointment. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with dental wax (available over the counter at your pharmacy).
- Bracket knocked off — Call your orthodontist to describe the situation and schedule an appointment. If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out, attempt to turn it back into its normal position. To minimize the loose brace movement, use dental wax (available over the counter at your pharmacy).
- Lost wire or ligature — If you found the rubber ligature, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If not, you may need to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
- Mouth sores — If your mouth sores are caused by having new braces, apply a topical anesthetic (available over-the-counter at your pharmacy). To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Are You Experiencing Swelling or Abscess?
If your gums hurt or begin to swell, see your dentist right away because gum pain or swelling can be symptoms of an abscess (infection) that forms in gum tissue or a tooth’s root. There are many reasons why gums can swell, become painful, or abscess. The only way to identify the underlying cause is a thorough exam by your dentist. Our periodontists are experts in identifying and treating gum disease.
If the abscess ruptures, you may experience a sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting fluid from the swollen or painful area. Rinse your mouth with warm water immediately.
Do You Have a Chipped or Broken Tooth?
If you’ve chipped or broken a tooth, it may be possible to reattach the pieces to your tooth, but only your dentist can tell you for sure. Take the following steps and see your general dentist right away. Remember to take the pieces with you.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it and apply gauze to the area. Use firm pressure to stop the bleeding. Try to find the chipped or broken tooth pieces right away.
- When the bleeding stops, apply a cold compress to the injured area to minimize swelling. If bleeding does not stop after ten minutes of constant, firm pressure, see your dentist or go to the emergency room.
- Save the tooth’s pieces and gently rinse with warm water.
- Place the pieces in a small container and cover them with milk, water with a pinch of salt, or saliva from the injured person.
If you’ve experienced a tooth loss, then consider the following:
- A Child’s Baby Tooth: Call your dentist right away. If the child’s baby tooth is completely knocked out, chances are it cannot be re-implanted. If this happens, the missing tooth will be replaced naturally when the child’s permanent (adult) tooth grows in.
- A Permanent (Adult) Tooth: If you’ve knocked out a tooth, you have a one-to-two-hour window in which the tooth has a chance for re-implantation, but only your dentist can tell you for sure. Take the following steps and see your dentist right away. Remember to take your protected tooth with you.
Have You Lost a Filling or Crown?
If a filling or crown is knocked out or otherwise lost, you can relieve pain caused by air in contact with the exposed part of your tooth using clove oil (available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets). Just dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the exposed part of your tooth. Putting an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts also may relieve the pain. Consider the following if you’ve lost or damaged a filling or crown:
- Filling: If you found the dental filling, put it in a safe place and take it with you when you see your dentist. To make your tooth more comfortable, fill the hole in your tooth with tooth wax or cement (available over the counter at your pharmacy). Do not use any household adhesives in your mouth.
- Crown: If you found the dental crown, you may temporarily replace it yourself until you see your dentist. Gently clean any debris from the inside of your crown. Apply denture adhesive, dental cement, or toothpaste to the inside of your crown before slipping the crown back in place to protect your tooth.
Reach Out to Lovett Dental Corpus Christi Today
If you are experiencing anything that might constitute an emergency — or looking for top-notch dental care in general — reach out to Lovett Dental Corpus Christi online or call 361-986-1117 to schedule an appointment today.