A dental emergency is any situation that requires immediate care to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or prevent tooth loss. While these situations can be frightening, we are here to help you.
What to do in an emergency:
- During office hours we will see you immediately to treat your injury.
- After hours, call us at (203) 712-7726 and follow the instructions provided.
- If your situation is a medical emergency that requires immediate care, call 911.
Signs that you need emergency dental care:
Severe Injury: You should seek immediate emergency care after an injury that knocked a tooth out of your mouth, moved teeth out of position, or caused a tooth to become loose or fractured. It is also common after this kind of injury to have cuts to your gums or cheeks. This is a serious situation that requires fast action. A difference of just 30 minutes can mean saving a tooth, rather than losing it.
Immediately after a severe injury, follow these tips to help save your tooth:
- A tooth was knocked out of your mouth: Pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the root can damage the nerve. Wrap the tooth in gauze, submerge it in milk, or try to place it gently back into the socket. It is important to prevent the root from drying out.
- Teeth were moved out of position: Apply light finger pressure to move the tooth back into place, but do not force the tooth. Bite down lightly to keep the tooth from moving.
- A tooth was fractured: Rinse with warm water. Use an ice pack and Ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
Other situations that might require urgent care
- Loose teeth: As an adult, loose teeth might be caused by a tooth injury or a localized infection. An injury should be examined for signs of nerve or jaw damage. Infections can spread if left untreated, and may lead to tooth loss.
- Severe toothache: Minor toothaches can be caused by a variety of issues and can often be treated through home care. If the pain is lingering or worsens in severity, it is time to visit your dentist.
- Numb tooth: If your severe toothache suddenly goes numb, it may indicate that the infection has moved into the root.
- Metallic taste: If you have metal fillings, a metallic taste in your mouth might indicate that an old filling has cracked or become loose. Open fillings can leave your tooth vulnerable to bacterial infections.
- Bleeding, aching gums: Painful, bleeding gums may be a sign of gum disease. It is important to identify gum disease early. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
- Swollen Jaw: A swollen jaw might indicate a more serious infection. Seek emergency dental care immediately if you also have a bad taste in your mouth, fever, or experience trouble breathing or swallowing.
- Dental abscess or lingering mouth sores: An abscessed tooth is a very painful infection, usually at the root of the tooth. An abscessed tooth will usually require oral surgery to drain and treat the infection.
- Canker sores and other abrasions can also become infected. Contact your dentist if you have any open wound in your mouth that is infected, or has not healed in over two weeks.