The following list of dental symptoms can be used as guidelines to recognize whether or not your condition may be considered a dental emergency. Dental symptoms can range in severity and urgency. A dental condition may be considered urgent, but not an emergency. However, urgent conditions still require the attention and care of a dentist as soon as possible.
Dull, continuous ache
A dull, continuous ache is not usually considered a dental emergency or urgent. However, a toothache should never be ignored because it generally means there is something irritating the nerve root of the tooth. Contact us to schedule a dental appointment at your earliest convenience.
DO NOT attempt to repair your denture on your own, as you could cause additional damage to the denture or your mouth. Call your denturist to schedule a dental appointment, or contact us to schedule a dental appointment at your earliest convenience.
Knocked out tooth
If an adult (permanent) tooth is knocked out, it can be saved but immediate action is required.
- Remain calm and find the tooth
- Handle the top of the tooth only (the crown). Never hold the tooth by its roots
- Do not scrape, rub or remove any tissue fragments from the tooth
- Make sure the tooth is clean. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in milk or very quickly in water. Alternatively, the owner can gently suck the tooth although this is not recommended for young children or adults who are unconscious, in shock or not calm and cooperative
- Immediately replant the tooth in the socket and hold tooth in place
- If unable to replant the tooth, keep it moist by immersing it in milk (not water), sealing it in plastic wrap, or placing it in the owner’s mouth next to the cheek (if the owner is able)
- Do not let the tooth dry out
- Seek immediate dental treatment (time is critical).
If a baby (deciduous or milk) tooth is knocked out:
- Do not attempt to replace it in the socket. Re-implanting a knocked out baby tooth could cause damage to the developing adult tooth
- Seek prompt dental treatment so any trauma to the lips and gums can be managed.
Chips, fractures and cracks
- If a tooth is chipped, fractured or cracked seek dental treatment as soon as possible
- If the chip or fracture is only minimal and there is no soft tissue trauma and no pain, do not panic. Seek prompt dental treatment
- If the damage to the tooth is more extensive, look for any sign of ‘pink’ as this indicates the nerve is exposed. If the nerve is exposed, seek immediate dental treatment. Delaying treatment may mean the tooth will be unable to be saved.
- Rinse the mouth with warm water to remove food debris
- If swelling is present, place a cold compress to the outside of the cheek (do not use heat)
- Control moderate pain with over-the-counter pain medication
- Do not place aspirin on the gum or aching tooth. Aspirin can cause the soft tissue to burn
- Seek dental treatment as soon as possible.