By its definition, a dental emergency can strike at any time, and can range from a sudden, severe toothache to accidental trauma, breakage, or loss of a tooth. One of the most important things you can do in a dental emergency is to call your dentist’s office immediately and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Until you can reach your appointment, however, there are other steps you can take to minimize discomfort, stop the bleeding (if necessary), and reduce the risks of further damage to the tooth. With a few tips on handling a dental emergency, you can also improve your chances of successfully saving the tooth once you’ve reached your dentist’s office.

What to Do

Every dental emergency is different, and your situation may or may not relate to all of the following:

  • If your tooth suddenly hurts and you aren’t sure why, then rinse your mouth with warm water, swishing around the tooth in question to clear it of debris. If something is lodged between your teeth, then use dental floss to carefully remove it. If not, or if the pain continues, then call your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment.
  • If your tooth is fractured or has a piece broken off of it, then rinse your mouth with warm water, taking care not to swallow any of the tooth’s pieces. If possible, collect the broken piece, rinse it carefully, and bring it with you to your appointment. If the tooth or the tissues around it bleed, then bite down gently on clean, moist gauze until the bleeding stops.
  • If your tooth is knocked loose, then take care not to place any pressure on it to avoid loosening it further or dislodging it completely. Rinse your mouth carefully, especially around the loose tooth, to clear away debris that may become stuck between the tooth and its surrounding gum tissues. Also, use clean, moist gauze to staunch any bleeding, if applicable. Schedule an emergency dental appointment immediately – the longer the tooth remains loose, the greater your chances of losing it and having to replace it.
  • If your tooth is knocked out completely, then rinse your mouth carefully and use gauze to staunch the bleeding. Collect the tooth, if possible, and rinse it off by holding the tooth’s crown (its top part; never grab the tooth’s root or connective tissues). Place the tooth in a small container of milk, and bring it with you to your emergency appointment. If treatment is sought soon enough, then your dentist may be able to replant the tooth in its socket.

ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX, DENTIST:

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, contact our Waco, TX, dental office today by calling 254-776-4888. Our office welcomes patients in and around Waco, TX, including Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and the surrounding Central Texas communities.