Handling Dental Emergencies
Patients of record of Erwin Dental who experience a dental emergency may call our office any time at (423)743-6144. If your emergency is after our normal office hours, a recording will provide instructions for contacting the dentist on call.
If the patient has experienced serious injury or is unconscious, call 911 immediately. If the patient is experiencing bleeding that doesn't stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.
Objects Caught Between Teeth
Sometimes food or other objects can become lodged between two teeth. If this should happen, try to remove the object using a strand of dental floss. Be careful not to cut your gums. Never use a sharp instrument (i.e. knife, pliers, etc.) to remove any object stuck between your teeth. If you are not able to extract the object, please contact your dentist.
If you experience a toothache, first rinse your mouth with warm water, which will help clean it out. Then gently floss around the aching tooth (or teeth) to ensure that the discomfort is not being caused by food or some other object caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist. You may use an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to dull the ache. (See Toothache: First Aid on MayoClinic.com for additional help.)
You may have a cracked tooth if, when you bite down, you feel a sharp pain. You might find yourself avoiding certain foods or chewing on one side of your mouth. Also, it might be unusually sensitive to heat or cold and to sweet, sour, or sticky food. One reason a cracked tooth may hurt is because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open; when the pressure is released, a sharp pain can be felt due to the crack closing again. A cracked tooth may or may not be a dental emergency, but if you think you have a cracked tooth, you should contact your dentist. (See "Do you have a cracked tooth?" from the American Dental Association for more information.)
A broken tooth is a dental emergency. Call your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and use cold compresses on the area to keep any swelling down.
Knocked Out Tooth
A knocked out tooth is a dental emergency. Hold the tooth by the crown and rise off the root of the tooth in water if it is dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk. Call your dentist immediately.
Quick action can mean the difference between loosing or keeping an injured tooth.