If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number. In case of a true dental emergency, please take your child to the closest emergency room or hostipal. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. You may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If your child has bitten his lip or tongue severely enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.
Object Caught In Teeth
If your child has something caught between his teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
Broken, Chipped, or Fractured Tooth
If your child has chipped or broken a piece off of his tooth, have him rinse his mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Try to locate and save the tooth fragment that broke off. Call us immediately.
Knocked Out Tooth
If your child's tooth has been knocked out of his mouth, find the tooth and rinse it with water (no soap), taking care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it's in place). Place the tooth in a clean container with milk. Call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly it's possible to save the tooth.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
If your child complains of a toothache, brush your child's teeth to make sure his/her teeth are clean and floss thoroughly, inspect his/her teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. Contact our office to schedule an appointment immediately.
If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don't let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have him wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.
An abscessed tooth is a dental condition in which the nerve, also called dental pulp, has become infected. The infection usually occurs when a dental cavity goes untreated and bacteria spread deep within the tooth. Left untreated, an abscess can progress to a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection throughout the entire body. This is especially harmful to children, because their immune systems are not fully developed.
Signs Your Child May Have an Abscess
- Continuous sharp or throbbing pain
- Pain when chewing
- Red, swollen gums
- Swollen neck or jaw
- Bitter taste in the mouth or bad breath
Treatment of an Abscess
If an abscess occurs in one of your child’s primary or baby teeth, it will most likely need to be extracted. Depending on the location of the extraction, a space maintainer may be necessary until the permanent tooth emerges to prevent the surrounding teeth from drifting into the open space.
If your child’s permanent tooth has an abscess, the treatment options consist of root canal therapy to clean and remove the infection, or tooth extraction. Your pediatric dentist may also choose to add an antibiotic to your child’s treatment plan. This will prevent the infection from spreading further into the jaw and bone tissue.
Tooth Abscess Prevention
The good news about a dental abscess is that it’s easily preventable! Schedule regular exams to your pediatric dentist to monitor and address any cavities present in your child’s mouth. Also, making sure your child follows effective home-care practices, such as brushing twice a day and flossing, and eliminating excess sugar in his or her diet, are simple ways you can prevent an abscessed tooth.