619-831‑8832 (San Diego) 858‑842‑5850 (Poway) justenedoandds@yahoo.com

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Any dental emergency can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment down the road. Today we’re sharing advice from your San Diego dentist regarding what to do in the event of a dental emergency.

Here’s a quick summary of what to do for some common dental problems.

Toothaches: First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food that has been lodged between your teeth. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. See your San Diego dentist as soon as possible.

Chipped or broken teeth: Save any pieces if you can. Rinse the mouth and any broken pieces using warm water. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See your San Diego dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked out tooth. Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown and rinse off the tooth root with water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available). In all cases, see your San Diego dentist as quickly as possible.

Partially dislodged tooth. See your dentist right away. Until you reach your dentist’s office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area and take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.

Objects caught between teeth: Try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. If you can’t get the object out, see your San Diego dentist. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object.

Lost filling: As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity or use an over-the-counter dental cement. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Lost crown: If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store).

Broken braces and wires: If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your San Diego orthodontist’s office.

Abscess: Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible.

Your San Diego dentist wants you to be prepared in the event of a dental emergency. If you find yourself in need of immediate attention, contact our office without delay!

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