Dental Emergencies

Dr. Jody is trained to manage a wide spectrum of dental emergencies and is committed to providing the best pediatric dental care. The information below is to help guide you when being presented with some of the most common dental emergencies. Please remember to stay calm and contact us with any questions.

Toothache

There are several different causes for a toothache - a few of them are listed below:

  • Tooth decay (cavity)
  • Tooth fracture
  • Infected gums
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Tooth or gum injury

Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and clean the area thoroughly to make sure there is no food trapped in the tooth or gums. If the pain still exists, over the counter motrin or tylenol may be given (as long as they are not allergic or have any other contraindications for these medicines). Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child’s age/weight. Do not use aspirin or heat on the gum or tooth.

If there is significant facial swelling, swelling that involves the eye or if the child has trouble breathing or swallowing go to the local emergency room.

If your child is experiencing a toothache, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

Knocked Out Baby Tooth

If you child's tooth is knocked out do not put it back in the mouth! The baby tooth should never be replanted because of the potential damage to the development of the permanent tooth. If needed, over the counter motrin or tylenol may be given (as long as they are not allergic or have any other contraindications for these medicines). Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child’s age/weight.

If bleeding cannot be stopped with pressure or there is excessive bleeding please take your child to the emergency room.

If your child has knocked out a baby tooth, please call the office to set up an appointment.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Time is very important with avulsed “knocked out” adult teeth. Locate the tooth and rinse it in cold water by holding it at the top and not the root end. Do not scrub or clean the tooth with soap. If possible, reinsert it back into the socket and hold it in place with a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If you are unable to hold the tooth in place, place it in a cup of milk or saliva and bring it to the office. Contact our office immediately - time is a critical factor in saving the tooth. If we have not responded within 15 minutes head to the nearest emergency room to get the tooth reimplanted (the best survival rate for the tooth occurs if it is re-implanted not more than 60 minutes after it avulsed). The teeth affected will be splinted to the neighboring teeth for approximately 7-10 days. Depending on the tooth and its development, the tooth may need a root canal within 7-10 days.

The tooth will require several follow-up appointments and there may be an incident where it is not recommended to replant the tooth because of the time out of the mouth. We are unable to guarantee a successful outcome for the tooth.

Bitten Tongue or Cheek

Place a cold compress on the area to keep the swelling down. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure to the area with a clean cloth. If there is a lot of bleeding or the bleeding can’t be controlled with constant pressure after 20-30 minutes, call the office or take the child to the emergency room.

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

If the cause of the chipped or cracked tooth was a serious accident, look for the following warning signs and go to the emergency room and call your pediatrician.

  • Bleeding from the ears or nose
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness or having passed out
  • Changes in vision

If your child does not have any of those signs present, inspect your child’s mouth to see what tooth is chipped or cracked. Rinse the mouth with warm water and place a cold compress on the face to reduce swelling. If you are able to locate the broken piece, bring it with you to our office. Once you are in the office, we will be able to recommend the best method of treatment.

If needed, over the counter motrin or tylenol may be given (as long as they are not allergic or have any other contraindications for these medicines). Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child’s age/weight.

Please call our office to schedule an appointment.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the root caused from an infected tooth due to trauma or a deep cavity. The abscess may form as a pimple or bubble on the soft tissues of the mouth. If you are concerned your child may have an abscess, call our office to schedule an appointment. Once you are in the office, we will take a dental x-ray and recommend the best method of treatment.

If needed, over the counter motrin or tylenol may be given (as long as they are not allergic or have any other contraindications for these medicines). Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child’s age/weight.

If there is significant facial swelling, swelling that involves the eye or if the child has trouble breathing or swallowing go to the local emergency room.

Broken Braces or Wires

If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it’s not easily removed, cover the sharp portion with chewing gum, a cotton ball or orthodontic wax. If the wire is stuck in the tongue, gums or cheek, do not remove it. Contact your orthodontist or the dentist who placed the appliance. A loose or broken appliance which is not causing any pain or discomfort does not usually require emergency attention.

Severe Blow to the Head

Call 911 immediately or take your child to the nearest emergency room.

Possible Broken Jaw

Keep the jaw from moving with a towel or handkerchief and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Take your child to the nearest emergency room.