Dental Emergency Care
What To Do Until You Can See A Dentist
NEW! Download Your Complimentary Copy Of The Field-Side Guide To Dental Injuries (Right Click On The Link And Choose “Save As”)
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, please call us right away at Leominster Family Dentists Phone Number 978-534-9216. We’ll see you as soon as possible. If we’re away from the office, your message will be forwarded to our doctor on call. Calls are monitored and returned on a regular basis, both after hours and on weekends, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
Using warm salt water ( a teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of warm water), rinse out any trapped food particles. Then clean thoroughly around the sore tooth.
NEVER place aspirin next to an aching tooth, it will only burn the gum tissue and will not help the pain. You must swallow and digest pain medication in order for it to work. Ibuprofin (“Motrin”) is best, and you can take up to 800mg every six hours. If you’re sensitive to Ibuprofin then you may take acetaminophen (“Tylenol”).
If the area is swollen, apply a cold compress. You will probably need to start on an antibiotic; the sooner the better, since it takes 24 to 48 hours for antibiotics to work.
Remember, pain medications provide only temporary relief. You must see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid more severe pain and/or swelling.
Oral Cuts or Bites
If you’ve cut or bitten your lip, cheek, or tongue: apply ice to any external bruises. Firm but gentle pressure will help stop any bleeding. Use sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Bleeding that continues for more than 15 minutes and/or won’t stop with pressure should be treated at an emergency room. You may require stitches.
If a bracket or wire breaks, only remove it if it comes out easily. Cover any sharp or protruding edges with wax (your orthodontist usually supplies you with some ). In a pinch, cotton balls or chewing gum will do the trick until you get to your dentist. If a bracket or wire has become lodged in your gums, cheek, or tongue, see the dentist right away. Otherwise, the situation isn’t urgent.
Bleeding When A Baby Tooth Falls Out
When a baby tooth falls out naturally (or gets a little help from its owner), some bleeding is normal. You can help stop it with a clean piece of gauze. Fold it into a small “chunk”, place it over the bleeding area, and have your child bite firmly on it for 15 minutes. Bleeding that won’t stop after 15 minutes should be addressed by the dentist.
Cold or Canker Sores
These can’t be “cured”, they simply heal on their own in a week to ten days. In the meanwhile, over-the-counter medications (such as anbesol) can provide temporary relief. Avoid spicy foods, cinnamon, toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate (Tom’s of Maine is a good choice) and acidic foods. Acidic foods include tomato sauces, orange juice, and citrus.
If you suspect your jaw has been broken, don’t attempt to speak or eat. Stabilize your jaw by tying your mouth shut with a towel or tie, and go straight to the emergency room.
If An Adult Or Baby Tooth Is Broken, or Knocked Loose, or Completely Knocked Out
One of the most common types of dental injury is a broken tooth or a tooth that’s been knocked loose from the socked. Often this occurs on the playing field, away from home.
To help you prepare for this type of injury, we’ve created a complimentary, downloadable pdf report that you can print out and take with you when you’re on the road. Keep it with your emergency kit or in your glove compartment.
Click here to learn what’s inside, and to download your copy.