Toothache emergency

Emergencies happen and we’re here to help. This list outlines immediate steps you can take to minimize damage and discomfort. If you are in need of urgent care call us at (949)380-0700 for assistance or page Dr. Schneider at 949-690-6131 if the incident occurs after hours or over the weekend.

Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean out any debris. Use floss to remove any food that may be trapped in the cavity or in between the teeth. Use a cold compresses to stop swelling. Do not use heat. Swallow aspirin, but do not place aspirin directly on top of the gums, beside or on the tooth. If something is stuck in your teeth, try to remove the object with dental floss. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue. If you can’t remove it and it is causing discomfort, call us 949- 380-0700.

Clean the area with warm water. If the tooth is sharp and irritating your tongue, try placing some sugarless gum over the broken tooth until you can see us. Orthodontic wax is sold in pharmacies. It also works nicely to cover over a sharp or broken area for short periods of time.

Time is of the essence with this emergency. Call Dr. Schneider immediately. Do not scrub or rub the tooth. Gently and without touching the root (portion of tooth that is below the gum line) rinse the tooth in milk or saline (contact lens) solution. If you can, put the tooth back into its socket immediately. If you can not re-implant the tooth, store it in milk or saline solution and bring it with you to our office immediately. If the tooth is replaced back in its socket within 30 minutes, it stands a good chance of lifetime health. If it has been out of the mouth for over an hour, the chances of re-attaching and lasting become slim.

Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth. Use cold compresses if there is any swelling. A tea bag applied directly to the affected area often stops bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, or if you think the bite is severe, go to a hospital emergency room.

If a wire is causing pain, cover the end with a small piece of wax or gauze. See your orthodontist if it is causing you too much discomfort to wait until your next appointment. If a wire is imbedded in the cheek, do not try to take it out yourself. If part of the braces or retainer is loose or broken, call your orthodontist for help.

Whether it is temporary or permanent, attention is needed when something comes off your tooth because teeth can permanently move in as few as a couple of days. If your crown comes off during business hours, call us and we will arrange to see you the same day or the following day. If it is after hours and we will return to the office in two days or less, it is not necessary to call for immediate attention. Many times the crown will stay on if you simply place it back on the tooth, pushing it down firmly. If it falls out easily, do not leave it in your mouth as it could be accidentally swallowed or inhaled into the lungs. Pharmacies have crown cement kits which are paste mixtures for temporarily re-cementing of a crown. A thin slurry mixture of flour and water works well also.

Just like a crown that has come off, a missing veneer can allow the space to collapse around the tooth if left off for several days. Do not attempt to replace or re-cement a porcelain veneer. They are very fragile and care needs to be taken to keep it in one piece. If it is not broken, most of the time a veneer can be re-bonded into place. Put the veneer in a Zip-lock bag or safe container and bring it to your dental appointment.