Act Fast in a Dental Emergency

If your child has a tooth knocked out while playing, would you know what to do?

This is an example of a dental emergency. Most dental emergencies are caused by some kind of trauma to the mouth like a fall or sports-related injury that can fracture or displace a tooth, or cause gum bleeding or laceration. A tooth injury can also be caused by biting on food that is too hard. Severe tooth pain or a swollen jaw may suddenly develop from an abscessed tooth.

Your first step should be to call your dentist. An emergency appointment may be available, or the phone’s recording or after-hours answering service will direct you. If the injury is a minor fracture or chipped tooth, it can probably wait until your dentist’s normal office hours.

However, some dental injuries require immediate treatment. If a large piece of the tooth has broken off, follow these steps:

  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Apply pressure to the tooth to stop the bleeding. You can use a piece of gauze or a wet teabag.
  • Relieve pain and reduce any swelling by holding a cold pack to your cheek.
  • Use temporary dental cement, available at a pharmacy, to cover the broken part of the tooth until your appointment.

If your child’s tooth has been completely knocked out of the gum:

  • Handle the tooth as little as possible.
  • Try carefully putting it back in the socket in its normal position. Have the child bite down gently on a wet tea bag or moist gauze to keep it in place.
  • If the tooth cannot stay in its proper position, place it in a container of saliva or milk.
  • Apply gauze or a teabag to the tooth’s site to stop bleeding.

Let Us Help with Any Dental Care Needs

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.