Emergency Home Care
Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen or ibuprofen is recommended. See a dentist as soon as possible.
CROWN OR TEMPORARY CROWN CAME OFF
Clean restoration of any food debris and clean tooth by gently brushing with a toothbrush if possible. You may use over-the-counter temporary cement, toothpaste or Fixodent and place it inside the crown. Gently reset the crown or temporary onto the tooth. Lightly close your teeth to seat the crown fully to your bite. Contact a dentist as soon as possible.
CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.
BROKEN TOOTH OR LOST FILLING
Rinse the area with warm water. Check to see if the tooth is mobile or if there is bleeding. If so, contact a dentist as soon as possible. If there is no mobility or bleeding, place an over-the-counter temporary filling or dental wax over the broken tooth and call to schedule an appointment.
SWELLING OR ABSCESS
If you can see swelling of your cheek, neck or jaw in a mirror from 5 feet away, either see a dentist immediately or go to the emergency room. If the swelling is localized around a tooth or in the gums, massage the area, rinse with warm salt water and call a dentist.
KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH
Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. DO NOT RINSE or handle the tooth more than necessary, especially by the root. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water or just keep it in the side of your cheek. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.
POSSIBLE BROKEN JAW
In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.
BLEEDING AFTER A BABY TOOTH FALLS OUT
Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, contact a dentist.
COLD OR CANKER SORES
Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persists for more than 3 days, visit your dentist.