Dental Emergency? Don’t Panic

Greenbelt emergency dentistBite into an apple, and hear an unusual crunch? Place your tongue on a back tooth to find something missing? Wake up with a terrible throbbing in your jaw? No matter the cause, dental emergencies tend to cause alarm. But if you know what to do in the case of dental trouble, you’ll feel much calmer should disaster strike.

By acting quickly and confidently, you could help minimize damage. Follow our steps below, and never hesitate to get in touch if you need help. Don’t put up with a broken or painful tooth – it’s just not worth it!

In An Emergency? Call Your Dentist

It never hurts to check in with a professional. Our Greenbelt dentists will be able to tell you more about how to proceed, and offer expert guidance. If it’s after hours and you’re in pain or have suffered an injury, it’s a good idea to visit the emergency room for immediate care.

Classify Your Dental Emergency

There are different kinds of problems that tend to strike unexpectedly. Figure out which category suits yours to learn how to care for it at home while waiting for a dental appointment:

  • Toothache – A painful tooth can mean many things, and merits an exam to find and treat the cause. Take over the counter pain medication and place a cold compress against your cheek to control swelling. You can also try using a salt water rinse.
  • Broken dental work – If a filling, crown, bridge, or other dental work has failed, save the pieces and schedule an appointment right away. Protect the area the best you can so that you don’t cut your tongue or cheeks on jagged edges.
  • Chipped tooth – Save any pieces of the tooth if possible and apply gauze if there is bleeding. Rinse the mouth with warm water and use a cold compress if there is swelling. Again, see your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Knocked-out tooth – If you lose a tooth after a serious injury, take action immediately. Call your dentist right away and if they are not available visit the ER. Try to put the tooth back in place, but don’t force it. If you can’t place the tooth back in the socket, put it in a glass of milk or salt water and take it to the dentist’s with you.
  • Soft tissue injury – It’s somewhat common to have lesions on the inside of your cheeks or tongue due to accidental biting. If there’s bleeding, apply gauze or a tea bag to the area. Rinse with salt water to reduce swelling and the risk of infection. If the bleeding does not stop, see a medical professional.
  • Jaw injury – If you have suffered a blow to the jaw and are struggling with jaw function, visit the emergency room right away.


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