What should you do if you have a dental emergency like a toothache, a broken tooth or even a broken jaw? For starters, if you have pain or swelling, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller, such as ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin. If you’re bleeding from a cut or a knocked-out tooth, apply pressure with your hands or a cloth.
If you think you may have a broken jaw, you will usually feel pain and have facial swelling. To control the swelling, apply cold compresses, and go at once to your dentist or a hospital emergency room.
For chipped or broken teeth:
• Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area, use cold compresses and call your dentist immediately. If possible, bring the broken piece of your tooth to your dentist’s office.
For a knocked-out tooth:
• Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root. Don’t scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If you can’t, keep the tooth and its root tissues moist by putting them in a container of milk or saliva and get to a dentist as quickly as you can.
For an object caught between teeth:
• Gently try to move the object with dental floss. Never use a sharp object to dislodge something stuck between your teeth. If dental floss doesn’t work, contact your dentist.
For a toothache:
• Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner. Toothaches are usually the result of either tooth decay or infection. Appropriate treatment could include antibiotics and dental restoration, so call your dentist if the pain persists.
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