Dental emergencies can strike without warning: severe pain, a collision on the soccer field that results in the loss of a tooth, or even an automobile accident that causes broken teeth and lacerations in the mouth.
The term “dental emergency” is a good indication that these problems shouldn’t wait until the next time the office is open but should be attended to promptly. Other dental emergencies include injuries to the gums, an abscess, swelling, and drainage from the mouth. Immediate care can help prevent the problem from getting worse.
Until you can see the dentist, you should focus on relieving pain and preventing infection. A warm plain or salt water rinse can help keep your mouth clean, while cold compresses or an ice pack can help ease pain and keep swelling down.
Place a washcloth or similar protection between the ice pack and your skin. Never apply ice directly to your skin.
Gentle, direct pressure can slow or stop bleeding. Patients should be kept calm; children may need emotional support from parents, especially if there is any pain.