What to Do During a Dental Emergency

What to doDuring a Dental Emergency

Life is often unpredictable, and it can be hard to be prepared to handle mishaps ahead of time. However, when it comes to handling certain dental emergencies, such as knocking out a tooth, it is important to act quickly. I (Maya, the Social Media Coordinator here at Kazmer Perio) experienced this first hand when I knocked out my front tooth.

When I was six years old, I fell while walking up the brick steps on the side of my house. I immediately got up and ran over to my father, who was outside doing yard work. He took one look at my bleeding mouth and knew that something wasn’t right. As he lead me into the house, he noticed my tooth – root and all – sitting on the step. He picked it up, rinsed it off, and rushed me to the hospital.

Even though I was only six, the tooth that I knocked out was an adult tooth, not a baby one. The doctor at the hospital decided that the tooth needed to be put back into place as soon as possible if there was any chance of it surviving. However, in my case, that meant waiting until the next morning when I could see an oral surgeon. Long story short, the oral surgeon tried to place my tooth back into my mouth, but it did not survive. (Don’t worry though, this story has a happy ending. Once I was old enough, I received a dental implant from Dr. Kazmer and I am so happy with the results! You can read more about my dental implant experience here).

One of the doctors that we saw after my accident told my father that it was great that he acted so quickly after my accident. However, he also explained that if my father had placed my tooth in a cup of milk, it would have had a better chance of surviving.

My point in sharing this story with you all is to illustrate how knowing the steps to take during an emergency before the emergency occurs can make a difference.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has a list of instructions for handling dental emergencies on their website.

Here’s a quick summary of the ADA’s recommendations:

What to do if an adult/permanent tooth is knocked out:

“Keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.”

What to do if a tooth is cracked:

“Immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.”

What to do after biting your tongue or lip:

“Clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.”

What to do if you have a toothache:

“Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.”

What to do if an object becomes stuck in your mouth:

“Try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.”

As always, if you ever have any questions or concerns, you can call our office at 919-468-6410.

Take care of your smile!