What do I do when I have a dental emergency?
When a dental emergency strikes, the first step is to call your dentist for an emergency appointment. In the meantime, here are some tips for relieving the pain and trauma of a dental emergency: Knocked-out tooth: Always handle a knocked-out tooth by its crown—the wide, top portion—instead of the root to protect the root from germs. If the tooth has dirt or other debris on it, run it under cold water but don’t dry it. Try to reinsert the tooth into its socket. If that’s not possible, store it in a container of milk and bring it to your dentist. If you get there within an hour, your dentist may be able to save the tooth. Tooth pain: A toothache is usually caused by an infection or abscess. If you still have pain after taking over-the-counter pain medication, you need emergency dental care. For immediate relief: press a cold compress to the portion of your face by the sore tooth, rinse with salt water and use oral numbing gel on the area. Swelling: If your face, jaw or gums swell, you may have a serious infection. Until you see your dentist, apply a cold compress to your face where the pain is, rinse with salt water and use over-the-counter pain relievers.