How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

man with a toothache

In this blog post, our Eden Prairie dental team provides some tips about how to handle common dental emergencies, including a knocked-out adult tooth, a cracked or chipped tooth, and a toothache.

What to Do If You Lose a Tooth

While losing a permanent tooth may strike you as a worst-case scenario, please remain calm and immediately call our office. If you act quickly and know what to do, you may be able to save your natural tooth.

Handle the tooth only by its crown, which is the chewing surface. Gently rinse off any debris with water or milk, but do not rub or scrub it with any sort of fabric. If you feel comfortable, you can gently place your lost tooth back into its socket and bite down on a piece of gauze. Or you can keep the tooth moist in a container of milk or in between your cheek and gums. It’s vital you see us as soon as you safely can. The longer your tooth is detached, the less likely it can be saved.

Is Cracking or Chipping a Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Depending on the severity, a cracked or chipped tooth may also be a dental emergency. If the chipped tooth is painful or is cutting your mouth, you should seek immediate dental help. While a chip that is not interfering with the function of your mouth may only be a cosmetic fix, we still recommend seeking treatment soon. A fracture may accompany the chip that you cannot see. An untreated fracture or crack increases your risk of a tooth infection since it provides bacteria a pathway to your tooth’s pulp. The pulp is your tooth’s soft, sensitive inner layer of blood vessels and nerves.

Do Toothaches Need Immediate Treatment?

Sometimes a minor toothache can be relieved by flossing, brushing, rinsing with mouthwash or warm salt water, and applying an ice pack. However, if your tooth pain is severe, chronic, and/or accompanied by pus, call our office for an emergency appointment.

Questions? We Have Answers!

If you’re ever unsure whether your dental issue requires immediate treatment, call Prairie Dental Group in Eden Prairie, MN. Our expert team can help you evaluate what’s going on and make a plan for how to deal with it.

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