Things you can do in dental emergencies

emergency sign

Dental emergencies can happen anytime, so it is important to know what to do. Don’t panic and remain calm when a dental emergency happens. Unlike other medical emergencies, a dental emergency does not put your health at immediate risk in most cases.

Is it urgent?

Many people are unsure what is considered a dental emergency, who should they contact, and what can they do at home before they can see a dentist. When a dental emergency happens you need to ask yourself: is it urgent? There are two types of dental emergencies: Urgent and non-urgent. Urgent dental emergencies cannot wait to be treated and non-urgent dental can usually wait. It is important to distinguish between these two types of emergencies if you are experiencing it over the weekend or night time when dental offices are usually closed.

Example of urgent dental emergencies:

Injured jaw

Painful swelling

Painful toothache

Bleeding that will not stop

A loose or knocked out tooth

Urgent dental emergencies should be treated immediately. Call your dentist immediately, such as Dr. Morrow at Mt. Tabor Dental, and we will do whatever we can to get you in as soon as possible. Many dentists, including Dr. Jacob Morrow in Portland, have an emergency contact even if you call after hours.  If you are unable to get ahold of your dentist, go visit an emergency room.

Examples of non-urgent dental emergencies include:

Dull toothache

Food stuck between teeth

Lost crown, bridge, or filling

Broken or damaged night guard or retainer

Cracked or broken tooth with no pain

   You should still contact your dentist immediately and you usually don’t need immediate attention for these situations.

Who to contact?

   Your dentist like Dr. Morrow should be the first person you contact during the dental emergency, although if the problem is more severe, sometimes it is the best to go to the emergency room. You should only visit an emergency room if your bleeding will not stop and you are experiencing extreme pain and your dental office is closed.  Most emergency rooms are not trained nor equipped to deal with dental problems.  If you are not in an unbearable pain, you still should call your dentist and explain the situation. Most dentist, including Dr. Morrow, will get you in as soon as possible. If they cannot get you in right away, don’t panic. Many dental emergencies are not urgent as you might think they are.

Home remedies for dental emergency to ease the pain

There are some things you can do at home before you go see a dentist or to an emergency room to help ease the pain. One of the most important things to do for any dental emergency is to stay calm.

Home remedies:

Put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of boiling water and use it as a warm mouthwash to reduce swelling and relieve irritation

Put your knocked out tooth in a glass of milk until you see your dentist

Use a cold compress to help numb irritation, reduce swelling, and stop any bleeding

Rinse with hydrogen peroxide to alleviate irritation and kill bacteria

Floss. If you are experiencing pain on one specific tooth, it can be possible that something got stuck in your teeth or inside the gum tissue.

How to prevent dental emergencies

   The best way to prevent dental emergencies from happening is to visit your dentist at least  2-3 times a year. Visiting your dentist regularly will reduce the chances of toothaches and other dental problems.  

There are other tips you can do to prevent dental emergencies:

Have a strong oral hygiene routine, brushing and flossing your teeth daily

Complete whatever treatments your dentist recommends for you. Dental problems will get worse the longer you wait

Avoid foods that are tough or chewy

Receive an annual Oral Cancer Screening, which Dr. Morrow provides at no additional cost at every routine examination appointment.

Please contact Mt.Tabor Dental in Portland, Oregon for your next dental visit or if you experience a dental emergency.


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