Call (248) 646-2273 if you need dental help fast!
A dental emergency can make minutes seem like hours. Pain and discomfort can be debilitating. If you or someone you love is experiencing dental pain of any sort, please call Comfort Dental immediately, preferably in the morning, and we will help you as soon as possible. Even after scheduled office hours you may call the office and we will contact you promptly with an answer.
Comfort Dental reserves time every day for emergency care.
If you or a family member is experiencing a dental emergency, stay calm. Injuries to the mouth, face and teeth happen frequently, especially in children. Remain calm and call Comfort Dental immediately.
Always determine if the injury involved hitting the head and causing loss of consciousness, even for a brief moment. If this is the case, you or your child should head to the nearest emergency room and see a physician immediately. The mouth and teeth can be addressed later.
If bleeding from the mouth is evident try to stop any bleeding with a clean washcloth or gauze. Be wary of choking. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, look for them. Any injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage and the need for more extensive and expensive treatment down the road.
DENTAL INJURIES CAN BE PREVENTED
Preventing Dental Injuries:
The best way to prevent a dental emergency is to protect the mouth. Children should wear mouth guards for all sports including football, rollerblading, basketball, soccer, etc. Most mouth guards are made of plastic and cover the upper teeth.
Not only do mouth guards protect teeth but they also protect lips, gums, and cheeks. Commonly there are two types of mouth guards:
- One size fits all mouth guards are available in sporting good stores and in drug stores. The drawback is that a proper fit is normally hard to attain and they may not offer proper protection.
- Comfort Dental can create custom made, custom fitted mouth guards. These mouth guards fit more securely against the teeth and proivide the best protection.
Watch out for situations that can often lead to injury. Some of the more common ones are:
- Trips and Falls – Falling into furniture and down stairs often causes dental injury. Children who are just learning to walk have a tendency to hold onto household furniture or other items. If you have an infant make sure to child-proof your home before they become mobile, usually around 12 – 16 months.
- Water Fountains – Often kids injure teeth by ramming them into the spout of water fountains as they drink. Sometimes kids behind them accidentally bump into them causing them to injure their teeth.
- Forks and Spoons – Believe it or not, some injuries are self-inflicted when people, not paying attention, crack or chip their teeth with spoons or forks as they eat.
- Bottle Caps – Tell your child to never open a bottle cap by using their teeth!
- Make sure your children are belted safely in their stroller and car seat. Wear helmets while biking, skateboarding & roller blading.
- If you are away from home, be sure to carry your doctor’s business card and Comfort Dental’s phone # (248) 646-2273. If you have a problem you can call and we can help you decide whether you need to seek immediate help.
Types of Dental Emergencies:
If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.
Chipped or broken teeth
Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain.
Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth temporarily back in place before seeing us. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. The tooth being surrounded by natural tissues improves the chance of saving the tooth. Knocked out teeth with the highest chance of being saved are those returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available). In all cases, call Comfort Dental as quickly as possible.
Objects caught between teeth
First, try using dental floss to gently and carefully remove the object. You may tie one or two small knots in the floss to help remove the debris. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.
As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental filler.
If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see us as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to us right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area. Clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store. If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive (Fixodent), to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
Broken orthodontic brackets or wires
If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to our office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.
Loose brackets and bands
Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place wax over the braces to provide a cushion. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call us immediately to have it re-cemented or replaced.
Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see us immediately, especially if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain, rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day. Apply ice to the swollen area right away.
Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding:
- Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
- Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
- To control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
- If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.
Do not move the jaw. Stabilize the jaw by tying a towel, necktie, etc., over the top of the head. Apply cold compresses. Go to an oral surgeon or hospital emergency room immediately.
Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place for 15 minutes, then repeat as necessary. Wet a tea bag and place it on the extraction site and have child bite on it.
Some children get these periodically. A 50:50 mixture of Kaopectate with liquid Benadryl is helpful. Use it as a rinse and hold in the mouth for several minutes. Try not to swallow. Vitamin E lotion can also help. Over the counter numbing sprays can help calm down the soreness, however it may take over 10 days before the problem subsides. If they persist or are extreme, see us.
Save all the parts of your broken denture, bridge or partial. It may be reparable or it may need to be replaced as soon as possible. Temporary bridges, plates and dentures can keep you comfortable until the permanent one is repaired or replaced. If you can’t get to us right away and the teeth are causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the bridge back over the teeth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
Slight bleeding after an extraction is normal. Clots usually form within one hour if you follow your dentist’s post-op instructions. Place a thick gauze pad over the extraction site and apply pressure by biting on the gauze. Wet a tea bag and place it on the extraction site and bite on it. Avoid rinsing, drinking or eating for at least one hour following the extraction. After 24 hours rinse the area with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz of water) after eating to keep the site clean. Avoid sucking, spitting, and smoking.
- Do not use aspirin to alleviate pain as this can prolong bleeding. Use the prescribed medication or try 400-800 mg of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or 200-400 mg of naproxen sodium (Aleve) every 6-8 hrs.
- If pain or numbness persists past 36 hrs. call us immediately!
- If you are still unhealed after 10 days, please call our office!
Follow after care instructions given to you. Use all medications prescribed and also try to rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz of water) to help with the discomfort. Vitamin C also helps to quicken the healing period, while SMOKING WILL DELAY ALL HEALING!!! Remember to use fluoride rinse (Oral-B or ACT). Try eating soft foods and continue to gently brush and clean the area as instructed. If bleeding persists past 24 hrs, call our office!
- Contact our office immediately!
- If you suspect that you may have a “pizza burn” or similar injury caused by very hot food, avoid the area and rinse with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz of water)
Wisdom teeth do not always emerge (erupt) into the mouth properly because there may not be enough room in the mouth for them to fit. Sometimes, a part of the tooth may remain covered by a flap of gum. Food particles and bacteria can get trapped under this flap and cause a mild irritation, a low-grade infection called pericoronitis and swelling. This usually happens with the lower wisdom teeth.
What You Can Do:
You cannot treat pericoronitis at home. Do not use warm compresses on your face. You may use ice pack to the side of your face or ice water in your mouth as long as your teeth are not sensitive. If you recognize the symptoms, call Comfort Dental right away. The symptoms may include: bad taste in the mouth, swelling behind the back teeth, and not being able to open your mouth fully – these happen when there’s an infection! The problem will not go away on its own and can become life threatening if not attended to promptly.