Smile Beautiful Dentistry Karessa Kuntz
Smile Beautiful Dentistry Monroeville

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What to do in a Dental Emergency

Dental Emergency

Question: What should I do during a dental emergency?

Any injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored even if you are not currently experiencing pain. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive (and expensive) treatment later on. The following is a basic summary of the first steps to take when dealing with some common dental problems.


Rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food that may be lodged in between teeth. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry as soon as possible.

Chipped or broken tooth

Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any of the broken tooth pieces. If there is 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. Contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry immediately.

Dislodged (or knocked out) tooth

Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), 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 proper direction in the mouth but 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). Contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry or visit your nearest emergency facility immediately.

Object caught between teeth

Try using dental floss to carefully remove the object. If you can’t get the object dislodged, contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry. Never use a sharp item (such as a pin) to poke at the object. These items can cut gum tissue and/or scratch tooth surface.

Lost filling

Until you can get in to see your dentist; an over-the-counter (temporary) dental cement may be purchased at your local pharmacy. Contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry as soon as possible.

Lost crown

If you have a crown that falls off contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry as soon as possible and bring the crown to your appointment. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing discomfort, 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). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, you may coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental wax, dental cement, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place.


An abscess is an infection that occurs around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums that could spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. To ease the discomfort until you can see your dentist, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day. Contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry as soon as possible

Soft-tissue injuries

Injuries to the soft tissues (which include the tongue, cheeks, gums and lips) can result in serious bleeding. To control bleeding, you may try the following: Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes. Contact Smile Beautiful Dentistry right away or if the bleeding doesn’t stop and Dr. Kuntz can’t see you immediately go to a local emergency care facility.

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