Dental emergencies frequently occur as a result of accidents or other trauma to the mouth. Teeth may be knocked out (avulsed), pushed out of position, or fractured from trauma. Lips, cheeks, or gums may be cut (lacerated) which could need treatment with possible suturing.
Here are some tips on how to handle some basic dental emergencies.
Knocked Out Permanent Tooth:
In case of a knocked out permanent tooth, immediately call the dentist for an emergency appointment. Getting to the dentist within 30 minutes will increase the chance of successfully reimplanting the tooth. Only handle the tooth by the crown of the tooth and not the root. Gently rinse the tooth in running water to remove dirt, but do not scrub the root. Place the tooth in the mouth in between the cheek and the gum to keep it moistened with saliva. If it is not possible to keep the tooth in the mouth, it should be kept in milk to keep it moist.
Permanent Tooth Pushed Out of Position:
In case of a permanent tooth pushed out of position, attempt to reposition the tooth with light finger pressure. The dentist may splint the tooth in place to keep it in position while it is healing.
Broken Permanent Tooth:
In case of a broken or fractured permanent tooth, rinse the mouth with warm water and seek dental care as soon as possible. In case of minor fractures of teeth, the dentist may smooth the tooth or replace the broken part with a tooth colored (white) filling. More extensive tooth fractures may require endodontic (root canal) treatment and crown or extraction if the fracture is severe and extends far below the gum line.
Cuts or Puncture Wounds Inside or Around Mouth:
Cuts or puncture wounds inside or around the mouth should be rinsed or cleaned with warm water and it may be necessary to visit the hospital emergency room. If possible, clean gauze should be used to apply pressure directly to the wound until medical/dental treatment is provided.