Abscessed or Broken Tooth
Tooth Knocked Out
Adult Instructions: If the tooth is loosely dislodged, apply light finger pressure to try to push the tooth back into its position. Do not apply a lot of pressure. If the tooth is completely out, place it between your cheek and gum and get to our office within one hour. After hours, call our after hours emergency line (949) 633-6871 and follow the emergency instructions. If you are afraid of swallowing the tooth, put it in a glass of cold milk or cold water and bring it with you. Do not rub or wipe the tooth off.
Children’s Instructions: Place the tooth in a glass of cold milk or cold water or gently wrap it in a clean, damp cloth and get to us within one hour. Call ahead so we can expect you. If it is after hours, call our after hours emergency line (949) 633-6871 and follow the emergency instructions. Delaying more than an hour decreases the likelihood of successful re-implantation. Do not rub or wipe the tooth off.
Gently clean the area with warm water. If a large part of your front tooth has broken off, save the broken piece if possible and bring it with you to our office. If you are in pain take over-the-counter pain medications and call our office immediately. Whether or not you are in pain you should call our office immediately (949) 633-6871 to prevent infection and other complications.
A broken or cracked tooth may cause a very painful toothache. If you have a broken or cracked tooth and you are unable to come see me immediately, here are some ways for you to relieve the pain from a toothache caused by a broken or cracked tooth.
Avoid foods and beverages that are very cold or very hot. Since the dentin layer of the tooth has likely been exposed by the crack or break in the tooth, extremes in temperature may cause pain.
Avoid foods and beverages that are very high in sugar, or are very acidic.
Use an over-the-counter pain relief medicine. Never exceed the recommended dose, and check to make sure you are able to take pain relief medications with any of the other medications you may currently be on. Generally speaking, a pain relief medication that is intended to reduced inflammation works best for dental pain, because most toothaches are caused by an inflammation of the tissues or the inflammation of the nerve. Never put pain relief medication on the tooth or gum tissue, as this could burn the tissue.
Floss between the teeth that are cracked or broken. Removing the food particles and plaque may help reduce the pain from the toothache.
Use oil of cloves (eugenol). Eugenol, which can be found in most health food stores, is used in various dental materials because of its antiseptic and anesthetic properties. Using eugenol at home may help reduce pain from a toothache. Soak a small piece of cotton in the oil, then blot the cotton on a piece of tissue to remove the excess. Using a clean pair of tweezers, hold the cotton on the painful tooth for 10 seconds, making sure you do not swallow any of the oil.
Seal the crack or the hole in the tooth temporarily. Some pharmacies have over-the counter temporary filling material that may be used to seal the hole created by a break in the tooth, or seal a cracked tooth temporarily.
Sleep with your head elevated. The inflammation of the nerve of the tooth with a crack or break is very painful, and is often what causes the most uncomfortable pain. If you elevate your head when resting, some of the pressure in the area of the toothache may diminish.
Rinse with warm salt water. Rinsing with warm salt water two to three times a day may help to relieve a toothache caused by a crack or break. Salt water works as an antiseptic to remove bacteria from the infected area.
A toothache that is caused by a crack or break in the tooth may come and go, but don’t be fooled. The longer you wait to have the tooth restored, more serious complications may arise. As soon as you develop a toothache, come see us immediately.
An abscess of the tooth is an infection. An abscess can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. If there is an opening in the enamel of a tooth, such as a cavity, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp (center) of the tooth and cause an abscess.
Once an abscess happens, the infection could spread throughout the mouth and body. A root canal is usually the only option to save a tooth once it has become abscessed. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should come see me right away!