A dental emergency is a sudden tooth, mouth, or jaw injury or other issue with the teeth and soft tissues. These accidents and concerns happen regularly and often require quick pain relief and treatment. Dr. Jason Keefe offers emergency dentistry services at 5 Mile Smiles, including same-day appointments, short-term relief, and long-term solutions for unexpected dental problems.
Your first instinct could be to go to the hospital for emergency care, but most medical professionals are not equipped to handle dental emergencies. They will typically refer patients with a chipped tooth, knocked-out tooth, or mouth pain to a dentist anyway. However, there are circumstances where you should go to the hospital, such as a fractured jaw or severe bleeding from the mouth.
Some of the common dental emergencies Dr. Keefe treats at our Spokane office include:
1. Knocked-Out Tooth
A tooth may be knocked out of your mouth in a car accident, fall, sports injury, or other incident. When this happens, it’s best to pick up the tooth by the crown and avoid touching the root. Place it gently back in the socket. Be careful not to force the tooth in the socket because that could damage the delicate tissues permanently. If the tooth doesn’t fit, position it between your gums and cheek or place it in some milk. Call our office for an emergency appointment to save the tooth. Ideally, we need to place the tooth back in place within an hour of the injury.
A loose or partially dislodged tooth is another dental emergency that requires quick action to save the tooth. Use light pressure to position it back in place, take over-the-counter pain relievers, apply ice for pain and swelling, and contact 5 Mile Smiles.
2. Broken Teeth
A tooth that is cracked or fractured is vulnerable to infection and other issues. Rinse your mouth with warm water, use an ice pack for pain and swelling, and try to gather all of the broken pieces of the tooth. Contact our office for urgent dental care.
3. Soft-Tissue Injuries
If you experience trauma to your gums, tongue, lips, or cheeks, that could be a dental emergency. A puncture wound or laceration typically causes these issues and may lead to excessive tooth bleeding that won’t stop. If there is a significant amount of blood, apply a thick gauze pad to the area and bite down on it if possible. That may help stop the bleeding. Don’t rinse your mouth, smoke, or suck on anything until you see our dentist. A cold compress may help stop the bleeding and reduce swelling.
4. Dental Abscesses
A dental abscess is a severe infection and a serious dental emergency. The infection can spread quickly and lead to life-threatening consequences. If you have swelling in your mouth or face, severe pain and sensitivity, and other signs of a dental abscess, call our dentist as soon as possible.
5. Severe Toothaches
A bad toothache may not seem like a dental emergency but can indicate several problems. Tooth pain that prevents you from concentrating or thinking about anything else needs treatment immediately. Gently floss the affected tooth to ensure nothing is wedged between the teeth, and rinse with warm water. If the pain is ongoing and severe, contact our dentist to discover what’s causing your toothache.
Broken orthodontics and a lost filling or dental crown are also reasons to contact our office about emergency dental services.