Handling Dental Emergencies – When to Call the Dentist?

Handling Dental Emergencies – When to Call the Dentist?

We all experience a dental emergency at some point in our life but deciding when to call the dentist is always the question. Here we will break down when to call your dentist or if you can resolve the problem at home.

  • Bitten cheek, tongue, or lip: Not necessary to call the dentist right away unless the wound becomes worse or doesn’t stop bleeding. Clean the area gently with a cloth and place a cold compress over the area to keep swelling down. If bleeding does not stop after 1-2 hours, call the dentist or physician or go to the nearest urgent care center.
  • Object stuck between teeth: Gently try to remove the object with dental floss or dental pik. Never try to remove the object with a sharp object or pointed instrument as it may cause more damage and make the situation worse. If the object is not easily removed, it can eventually cause swelling of the gums and worse problems. Call your dentist to remove the object for you if you are unable to remove it with floss at home.
  • Broken or cracked tooth: Call the dentist right away. Before heading to the dentist, rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put a cold compress like an ice pack or washcloth with ice wrapped inside on your face to reduce swelling. Depending on the situation of the tooth, you may need a filling restoration, crown, or extraction once your dentist has diagnosed the situation.
  • Toothache/swelling of the face: Swelling is usually a sign of infection and can be serious. If you are experiencing swelling, call your dentist right away or go to the nearest urgent care center. If you are experiencing pain from a toothache, take what you would normally take for pain such as a headache.
  • Knocked-out tooth: Call your dentist right away. It’s ideal to be seen as soon as possible. For children, it’s normal to lose baby teeth but an accident that has caused damage to a baby tooth could also cause damage to the permanent tooth growing in underneath it and should be evaluated immediately.
  • Bleeding when brushing: Bleeding gums while brushing your teeth is a common problem and usually related to periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing regularly will help resolve this; however, it should be mentioned at your next dental checkup for further evaluation and treatment.

Dental emergencies may involve swelling, pain, and bleeding from a variety of causes. It’s very important to receive diagnosis and treatment from a dental professional. At Cochecho Dental, we are always willing to help with any questions you may have.


About Cochecho Dental.  Cochecho Dental is a full-service dental practice in Dover, NH, providing quality dental care for adults, children, teens and the entire family. Cochecho Dental offers general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services. Our seacoast practice is a contemporary, start-of-the-art facility where dental patients can receive routine cleaning, teeth whitening, invisalign, implants, veneers, crowns, restorative services, oral consultation, fillings, dentures, and periodontal therapy. Our fully licensed physicians also offer botox and juvederm cosmetic solutions. #carecompassioncochecho


Shannon Hodgkins

Shannon Hodgkins

Shannon is the Office Manager at Cochecho Dental and an avid blogger. When you visit, most likely she’ll be the person with the warm smile greeting you at the front desk.

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