408-725-1536

Dental Emergencies

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Do you have a broken tooth or have you injured your mouth? We can give you immediate, emergency dental care in our office even if you are not a current patient. With dental emergencies, it is very important to get medical attention as soon as possible in order to create best chance of saving a tooth. If you are injured, call us immediately!

Handling Dental Emergencies

While you are waiting to come to our office, there are some things you can do to relieve your pain and increase the chances of a successful treatment. If you have lost or broken off a tooth, you can try to replace the tooth into the socket or over the cracked-off part of the tooth. You may need to hold the tooth in place.

If you have lost or broken a filling, you can sometimes ease your discomfort by placing a small piece of chewed sugarless gum over the spot where you lost the filling. This will prevent the area from getting irritated.

If you have a toothache or other pain, over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can alleviate some of the pain. You may also gain some relief by applying a cold pack near the painful area.

Toothaches. First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. Call and Book your appointment with Hills Dental as soon as possible.

Objects caught between teeth. First, try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. If you cannot remove the object out, see your dentist. Never use a pin or other sharp device to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch the tooth surface.

Lost filling. As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. Call and Book your appointment with Hills Dental as soon as possible.

Chipped or broken teeth. Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip, near the broken/chipped tooth, to keep any swelling down and to relieve pain. Call and Book your appointment with Hills Dental as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth. Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water (if it is dirty). Do not scrub the tooth or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it is facing the correct direction. Never force it into the socket. If it is not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth ™. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those that have been seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.

Lost crown. If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you cannot get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!

Broken braces and wires. If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you cannot reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or a piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist's office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.

Loose brackets and bands. Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it re-cemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).

Abscess. Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, and if left untreated, the infection could possibly spread to other parts of the body, because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, call and book your appointment with Hills Dental as soon as possible if you discover a painful, pimple-like swelling on your gum. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water) several times a day.

Soft-tissue injuries. Injuries to the soft tissue, which includes the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, we suggest:

  • Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
  • Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site; hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek at the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If the bleeding does not stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure with the gauze to the bleeding site until you can be seen and treated by a doctor.

If you have suffered a dental emergency, DO NOT hesitate to call our office immediately.

1002 S. De Anza Blvd, STE D,
San Jose, CA 95129

(408) 725-1536

Office Hours

Monday

: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Tuesday

: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Wednesday

: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Thursday

: Closed

Friday

: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Saturday

: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sunday

: Closed

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