When Is It An Emergency?

This is a question with a simple answer. If it hurts, it is an emergency. This is because even injuries that seem small or superficial can affect the living tissues inside the teeth.  Incidents and emergencies do not care what time of day it is, they happen early morning, evenings and even occasionally waking you in the middle of the night. Chinook Mall Family Dental Clinic tries to offer the best hours possible with early morning appointments and evening hours once weekly. We also want to ensure you are taken care of outside our hours of operation. Knowing what to do in the middle of an emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Read on to learn what the most common dental emergencies are and what you can do if a dental health 911 happens.


Do not trivialize the presence of toothaches. Not only is the pain hard to bear, a harmless-sounding toothache can seriously impair your performance at work or school, or worse, lead to a tooth decay or infection. The best thing to do when your tooth hurts is to rinse your mouth or gargle with a mild salt solution to clean your teeth and remove any food debris that may be stuck. If there is swelling, you can apply a cold compress to the affected area. If the pain persists, call your dentist immediately.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

If the emergency you are having is a tooth being knocked out, this will need urgent attention.  There are some steps that you can take to better your chances of having the tooth preserved.

  • Immediately pick up your tooth making sure not to touch it at the roots but to hold it by the crown.
  • Secondly, rinse it off using gentle running water so as to clean it. You should not scrub it or remove tissue that you may see attached to it.
  • If possible, put it back so that it sits in its socket and try to bite down gently to hold it in place.
  • If this is not possible, take a container put some milk in it and put it inside

Cracked, Chipped or Broken Tooth  

chinook mall family dental clinic

Whether due to a sports injury or external impact, your tooth may be cracked or chipped when you least expect it. The degree of the pain may be telling of the severity of the chip or crack. If the nerve of your tooth is affected, the pain can be pronounced. Do not take any medication unless otherwise advised by a dentist. You may reduce the pain or swelling by applying an ice pack to the affected area. 

Something Lodged or Stuck Between Teeth

You can use dental floss to gently dislodge the foreign object. If that is not possible, call your dentist immediately. Do not attempt to forcefully remove the object if the movement causes any pain to the sufferer.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

Everyone has accidentally bitten their own tongue, lip, or inner cheek. The results can be painful! While the mouth tends to heal quickly if wounds are kept clean and not aggravated, healing times depend. A small bite wound can heal within 2-3 days; a larger one in about a week. Avoid infection and ensure a quick recovery time by doing the following.

  • Clean the bite
  • Press with cloth or gauze to stop the bleeding
  • Apply something cold to reduce swelling
  • Take a pain reliever like ibuprofen
  • Rinse with warm salt water
  • Avoid hot, acidic, or spicy food and drinks
  • Let it heal

Knowing how to handle dental emergencies is important when it comes to saving teeth and reducing pain. We know that accidents happen – on the baseball field, while running up or down the stairs, or on the playground, but by familiarizing yourself with these tips you can help yourself and others, by taking decisive and calm action. We are here to help advise you in time of emergency, please contact us immediately if you have an accident causing trauma to the mouth. Most importantly, if it happens outside of our hours, seek medical attention through urgent care then see us at our CF Chinook Mall Dental Office as soon as possible.




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