Common Dental Emergencies

Avulsed Tooth (Knocked out tooth or teeth):
Baby Teeth
If a child’s baby tooth is knocked out, call a dentist and visit a dentist ASAP.  Primary or baby teeth are important.  It is normal to lose primary teeth, but premature loss can lead to problems.  If one loses a primary tooth too early, it could cause the neighboring teeth to close into the gap leading to a life-time of crowding.  Also, a dentist will check if there is any harm to the permanent tooth growing under the knocked out primary tooth.
Adult Teeth
Adult or permanent teeth which are knocked out present a different set of problems.   Call a dentist ASAP.  SAVE the tooth and handle it with care.  If dirty, hold it at the top and rinse the root with water.  Do not scrub the tooth or remove any attached bits of tissue.  You may take a gauze sponge to gentle, without pressure, remove bits of dirt.
If possible, gently insert the tooth back into the socket.  If not possible, place the tooth between the cheek and gums and hold it there until you see a dentist.   If not possible, put the tooth into a cup of  milk.  Sometimes you can call the local pharmacy for a solution for an avulsed tooth.  A balanced solution such “Ringer’s” will work. 
Alternative solutions are tender coconut water or green tea extract: 
Broken or Cracked Tooth:
Stop what you are doing if eating.  Do not continue to eat on a cracked tooth.   Keep the area clean.  See a dentist ASAP.
The danger become apparent if there is an exposure into the nerve and pulp.  Sometimes only a dentist can tell if there is an exposure.  If the pulp is exposed, dental infection normally follows.  For this reason, see a dentist ASAP.
Traumatic injury to the Tongue, Cheeks, or Lip:
Clean the area gentle with a cloth.  Cold compress can be used to reduce swelling.  If bleeding, use gauze compression to stop.  If bleeding does not stop, call a dentist or go to the ER if severe.
Broken Jaw:
If you suspect the jaw is broken, go to the dentist or emergency room ASAP.  Usually x-rays are used to confirm any breaks in the jaw.  If so, stabilization of the jaw may be important.

For toothaches, see our section on TOOTHACHES.

Get your tooth knocked out? Immediately put it in milk and hold it in your mouth. This will help the tooth survive longer. Then call us right away at 808-949-8101.

Dr. Lawton Wong has been coming to the aid of Honolulu dental toothaches since 1981.