Handling the Unexpected with Ellen Johns, DDS

Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful. They demand immediate attention, not just for the sake of comfort but also to prevent long-term damage. At Ellen Johns, DDS, we understand how critical it is to know what to do in these stressful situations. Here’s a guide to managing dental emergencies until you can reach our office.


Common Dental Emergencies and Immediate Actions

  1. Toothache: First, clean the area around the sore tooth meticulously. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm salt water to dislodge any trapped food particles or debris. If swelling is present, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek. Do not put aspirin or any painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue.


  1. Chipped or Broken Teeth: Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to reduce swelling and relieve pain.


  1. Knocked-Out Tooth: Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or a cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available). In all cases, it’s crucial to see a dentist as quickly as possible.


Preventing Dental Emergencies

While not all dental emergencies can be avoided, you can reduce your risk by wearing a mouthguard during sports and recreational activities, avoiding chewing ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy, and never using your teeth to cut things.

Remember, Ellen Johns, DDS is here to help you navigate through any dental emergency with compassion and expertise. Don’t hesitate to call us at the first sign of dental distress.