How to Identify a Dental Emergency

Drawing of a panicked man wearing a teal suit clutching his head with his hands and his mouth dropped open

It can feel difficult to stay cool as a cucumber during an emergency, especially when it concerns an area as delicate as your mouth! But before you hit the panic button, first ask yourself: is this really a dental emergency? And calmly remember that our Mission Hills Family Dental team is here to help.

Common Dental Emergencies

  1. Excessive Swelling & Pain
  2. Your gum swelling and toothache may be caused by a pesky food particle, like a popcorn kernel, stuck in between your teeth. Try dislodging it with some dental floss and rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If your pain and swelling don’t resolve, they may be caused by gum disease or advanced tooth decay. If you do have gum disease or decay, we will need to treat those ailments right away in order to best preserve your oral health!

  3. Excessive Bleeding
  4. If your gums bleed a little when you floss, it probably means you’re just not flossing often enough. Be sure to floss at least once a day! On the other hand, if you’re recovering from recent oral surgery or had a blow to the mouth, you may experience profuse bleeding. Suppress the bleeding with clean gauze and call us immediately.

  5. Injury to Teeth, Mouth, Jaw, or Tongue
  6. Call us if you have a chipped, broken, or knocked-out tooth. Moreover, if you have hurt any part of your mouth, jaw, or tongue, you must see us as soon as possible. We can take your X-rays and help you determine how to proceed with your injury without harming your oral health.

How to Prepare for a Dental Emergency

  1. Our Same-Day Emergency Services
  2. Have our contact information on hand in case of emergency. We keep openings available throughout our schedule for emergencies, so we can see you promptly after you call!

      Mission Hills Family Dental
      197 Woodland Pkwy, #100
      San Marcos, CA 92069

  3. Know What to Do in a Dental Emergency
  4. Because emergencies often happen at the most inconvenient times, do your research before so you know how to handle the situation:

    • Most importantly, don’t freak out! Breathe, relax, and take it one step at a time.
    • If you have intense pain and swelling, ice your cheeks for ten minutes at a time for some relief. Doing a salt water rinse can also help flush out any bacteria if you have an infection.
    • Come see us right away if you have a chipped, broken, or knocked-out tooth. If you see us within an hour of knocking a tooth out, we may be able to return the tooth to its socket. Before coming to our office, handle your tooth only by its crown (chewing surface) and keep it moist in a glass of milk.

    Clear glass of white cow's milk that can keep a knocked-out tooth moist on a concrete curb next to green grass

  5. Do All You Can to Prevent a Dental Emergency
  6. There are a few simple ways to help prevent a dental emergency:

    • Before and after your dental treatments, be sure to ask us how much swelling you can expect from your procedure so you know when something seems awry.
    • Brush and floss your teeth daily to decrease your risk of developing gum disease, which can lead to complications like bleeding, pain, and swelling.
    • Visit us every six months to check that your oral health is in tip-top shape.
    • If you play contact sports and/or grind your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to prevent injury.

Call Us ASAP After a Dental Emergency!

Mission Hills Family Dental offers a wide array of services so you and your family can have healthy and sparkling smiles. We offer prompt care for dental emergencies so you don’t have to fret over getting the treatment you need if the unexpected occurs. Contact our team today for more information.

Do you have more questions about how to prepare for a dental emergency?

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