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How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies – Falls Church, VA

Act Fast to Protect Your Smile

Woman with tooth pain

Dental emergencies can be very frightening, but you need to keep a cool head so that you can make good decisions. Dr. Berrada and the rest of our team can advise you over the phone on what steps you need to take next. The main dental emergency page has plenty of advice for what to do if you knock out or break a tooth, lose a crown/filling, or suffer from a persistent toothache, but there are many more dental issues that might require urgent care.

Something Stuck Between the Teeth

Woman flossing

If bits of food or other kinds of debris become stuck between your teeth, they can cause a lot of pain, and your gums might be damaged as a result. You can try to remove such objects gently using wax-coated dental floss; tie a knot in it, then move it back and forth in the affected area. If it helps, rinse with warm water first to loosen the object and soothe your gums. You should call our office if you’re unable to get the object out by yourself. Do not try poking at the object with a pin or anything else that’s sharp, as you might cut your gums or scratch your teeth by accident.

Extruded Tooth

Man covering mouth

A tooth that is extruded has been partially dislodged; in other words, it hasn’t been knocked out of the mouth entirely, but it has been displaced from its socket. This issue needs to be treated right away to give the tooth the best chance of reattaching. Until you get to our office, take some ibuprofen or other over-the-counter painkillers and hold a compress on the outside of your mouth over the affected area. You can try to gently push an extruded tooth back into its socket, but you need to be very careful with it. Avoid chewing or biting with the extruded tooth at all costs.

Abscess

Tooth abscess

An abscess is a pocket of pus that’s the result of an advanced infection. It usually forms near the tooth’s root or in the space between your teeth in comes. Unchecked abscesses can damage your gum tissue and your surrounding teeth. In the worst case scenario, you might even suffer from tooth loss, and the infection could reach other parts of your body. If you notice the warning signs of an abscess (severe persistent toothache, fever, swelling in face or cheek, swollen lymph nodes under jaw and so on), you need to be treated right away. You can rinse with a mild salt water solution several times a day to ease the pain in the meantime.

Soft-Tissue Injury

If your tongue, cheeks, gums or lips are bleeding, rinse with salt water, then hold a piece of gum over the bleeding site for about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards you can apply a cold compress for about 5 to 10 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you need to seek immediate attention.

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