Don’t Panic. Stay calm and deal with the problem!
If you have a dental emergency during office hours, please call us at (713) 800-4200.
We offer emergency dental care during regular business hours. If you have a dental emergency, please call or come in and we will try to accommodate you the same day. After hours, we recommend you proceed to your local emergency room. Regular checkups and hygiene care, accompanied by necessary restorative dental work can prevent many dental emergencies. If you have not had a checkup in the last six months, call today to schedule a visit with Dr. Husain.
Even if you’re careful with your teeth, accidents happen. Teeth can break or fall out, and complications from other dental work can sometimes arise. Dental emergencies are relatively common, and they’re not as scary as you think. If you need a Houston emergency dentist right away, call our Houston office, and our staff would be happy to assist you with emergency dental care.
Types of Dental Emergencies
It’s important to be aware of what constitutes a dental emergency. A few examples of common dental emergencies are:
- Complications from oral surgery, such as dry socket or excessive pain or bleeding
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Teeth that have been knocked out
- Severe pain in the tooth or gums
- Dental work such as crowns that have broken or fallen out
If you have any other symptoms that are not on this list but that have you worried, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call our Houston office, and our team and the emergency dentist can help you out.
What to Do in a Houston Dental Emergency
It might be tempting to go to the emergency center if you’re in pain, but for dental emergencies, it’s usually better to go straight to the emergency dentist. Our Houston emergency dentist is well-versed in oral procedures and will be able to assist you better.
If you’re bleeding, try to gently stop the flow of blood by biting down on a piece of gauze until the wound clots. If the bleeding is excessive and does not stop after about ten minutes, you should, in this case, go to the emergency center. If you can slow the blood or stop it, however, you should proceed to the emergency dentist for emergency dental care.
If your tooth has been knocked out, put it in a glass of water and see your Houston emergency dentist immediately. Sometimes a tooth can be saved if you’re quick enough.
Above all, try to stay calm. Our experienced Houston emergency dentist and staff can handle any dental emergency. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call our Houston office right away.
Here are some common dental emergencies and how to handle them:
Cut lips, tongue or gums
Rinse the wounds and clean gently with cold water or salt solution. Apply pressure with a damp cloth. Call us or get to your nearest Accident and Emergency clinic.
Take a clean handkerchief, wet it, wring it out, fold it, place over the bleeding socket and bite firmly. Keep it there for at least 10 minutes. Sit down – do not move about. If bleeding persists, reapply the handkerchief with a damp tea-bag folded inside the cloth (don’t allow burst bag to spill tea leaves into the wound), and leave for a further ten minutes. Avoid smoking, hot drinks, alcohol and exercise for the following 12 hours. If the bleeding persists call us or the Emergency Dentist.
Teeth bumped, displaced or loosened
If possible, gently push the tooth back into position. Hold it in while you apply pressure around the tooth with a damp cloth for several minutes. Call us or get to the Emergency Dentist as soon as possible.
Teeth knocked out
If the tooth is completely knocked out then there is no treatment for that tooth other than stopping the bleeding. You may contact us for advice and to set up an appointment to check no other damage has been done.
- Time is critical. If you can replace the tooth immediately or keep it moist and make it to the dentist within thirty minutes, there is a good chance that the tooth can be saved. The chances of successful re-implantation reduce dramatically with time, so act swiftly.
- Find the tooth. Do not touch the root – hold it by the crown. Do not scrub or attempt to disinfect it, as you may kill some of the living cells on the root.
- If it is clean immediately after dislodgment: Try to put it back in place yourself. Hold it by the crown and push it gently back into its socket, checking that it is inserted in its original position and the right way round. Hold it in place and apply pressure around the tooth with a damp cloth for several minutes. Contact a dentist as quickly as possible.
- If it is not clean: Do not touch the root – hold it by the crown. Do not scrub or disinfect it. In order of preference rinse it with milk or weak salt solution (one level teaspoon in a large mug of cold water) or cold water or have the patient suck it clean before gently pushing it back into place. Hold it in place and apply pressure around the tooth with a damp cloth for several minutes. Contact a dentist as quickly as possible.
- If you can’t put the tooth back into its socket: In order of preference place it in a cup of milk or salt solution (one level teaspoon in a large mug of cold water) or cold water. Alternatively, put it under the patient’s tongue or in the cheek pouch. Do not let it become dry. Do not put it in disinfectant. Call us or the Emergency Dentist immediately.
- Note for Doctors: Start prophylactic antibiotics immediately. If the tooth or mouth has contacted soil, consider administering tetanus anti-toxin. Refer to a dentist for splinting ASAP.
Loose Filling or Crown
See your dentist as soon as possible. If it is not repaired within a few days, decay can reach the tooth nerve, which may require root canal treatment. Do not try to use hardware glues like ‘superglue’ or ‘epoxy’ to re-cement the restoration yourself.
If your crown (cap) has come out, carefully scrape out the loose old cement inside the crown and place a layer of Vaseline inside the crown. Rinse the tooth well to remove all loose cement or food particles. Place the crown over the tooth and gently press into place. Bite down gently to seat the crown. Wipe away the excess Vaseline. This should create a temporary seal until you see a dentist.
If a filling has come out and the sharp edges are cutting your tongue or the tooth is sensitive, rinse out the cavity and fill it with well chewed sugar-free chewing-gum or the soft wax on the outside of some cheeses. If you can’t get to a dentist soon be sure to remove the temporary packing and brush the cavity thoroughly before replacing with a new temporary stopping.
The first choice is to seek the help of a dentist or clinical dental technician to have a proper repair done. If you desperately need to do a temporary home repair remove the denture/pieces, clean them well and dry them off. Do several practice runs at fitting the pieces together and holding them there. Once you are confident you can do this accurately use a small amount of cyanoacrylate ‘superglue’ to glue the denture together. Don’t use any other type of glue. Once the glue is dry rinse the denture and make sure no un-hardened glue is left before inserting the denture back into your mouth. Don’t use superglue directly in your mouth! See your dentist/technician as soon as possible to have a permanent repair done.
Contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, try applying oil of cloves (available at chemists). You can also use commonly available pain-killers such as aspirin, paracetamol (Panadol®) or ibuprophen (Nurofen®). Do not place painkillers directly under your tongue or on teeth, cheek or gums – you can cause chemical burns by doing this.
Abscess or gum boil
This problem should be attended to quickly. If a dentist is not available, see your Accident and Emergency clinic. Usually antibiotics are required. The tooth may require root canal treatment or extraction.
If you have severe swelling of the face or neck or are feverish or having difficulty breathing seek medical help IMMEDIATELY!
Ulcers and infected wisdom teeth
Contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime keep your mouth and teeth as clean as possible by maintaining your regular brushing and flossing routines. You can rinse with warm salt solution (one level teaspoon in a large mug of water) as often as possible. A commercial mouthwash, especially with chlorhexidine, such as Colgate Savacol® or Oral-B® mouthwash, can be used three or four times daily between salt rinses. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory painkillers can be helpful in some cases, so if a dentist is not available see your Accident and Emergency clinic for a prescription. Do not use someone else’s ‘leftover’ pills!
If you are not allergic to Iodine, Betadine® mouthwash can also helpful for mouth ulcers.