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Tips to Handle Dental Emergencies

Do you know what to do if you have a dental emergency? Knowing the steps to take might save your tooth, so it's important to know how to handle dental traumas.

In all dental emergencies it's important to call your dentist as soon as possible. An emergency dentist will do everything they can to see you the same day to minimize damage and safeguard the health of your dentition.


When you have a toothache, start by gently cleaning the tooth and surrounding area with a soft toothbrush. Floss with care, then rinse with warm salt water. You can apply a cold compress or take acetaminophen for pain, but don't apply any medications directly to the area. Finally, call your dentist and make an appointment if the toothache continues to be a problem.

A Fractured or Chipped Tooth

Minor tooth damage can be repaired if you get prompt dental care. If your tooth is fractured or chipped, call your dentist ASAP for an appointment.

Rinse your mouth with warm water, but don't brush or floss. If the tooth was chipped, try to recover the missing piece. Rinse the tooth fragment then wrap it in moist gauze for safekeeping—your dentist may be able to reattach it.

A Loose Tooth

If your tooth has been partially dislodged, try to gently push it back into the socket, but take care not to force it. Call your dentist ASAP, and in the meantime use moist gauze to stabilize the tooth if necessary.

Knocked-Out Tooth

When a tooth has been completely knocked out, the most important thing is to call your dentist right away. If you can see them within an hour there's a chance they can save your tooth.

To prepare for your appointment, recover your tooth and rinse it in warm water, but don't scrub it. This may damage the delicate tissues of the root. It's important to keep the tooth moist, so put it back in the socket if possible, or tuck it in your cheek. Alternatively, wrap the tooth in gauze that has been moistened in milk or salt water.

For Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue within the mouth include your gums, lips, tongue, and cheeks. For injuries that cause bleeding, rinse your mouth, then hold clean gauze over the wound and apply firm pressure. If the bleeding doesn't stop within 10 to 15 minutes, call your dentist or doctor for advice—stitches may be needed.

If there's no bleeding, rinse your mouth and clean the injured area gently with moistened gauze. Use a cold compress for pain and swelling, and call your dentist or doctor if the symptoms don't start to subside in a few hours.

Preparing for Dental Emergencies

It doesn't take much time to prepare for a dental emergency, and knowing what to do ahead of time can make it easier for you to handle the problem. Make a small kit with sterile gauze, sterile salt water, plain water, and a small plastic container with a lid. Include your dentist's contact details, and you're well-prepared for any emergencies.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Menifee or surrounding Menifee Valley areas, please contact Dr. Romero to schedule an urgent dental care appointment or to ask about emergency care treatment. 

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