Let’s say you sprained an ankle. What are your first steps? Most of us probably would say something along the lines of plop down on the nearest couch, ice the ankle, elevate it, add some compression, and see a doctor if it’s a bad sprain. But what about a dental emergency, like a broken tooth? OR Swelling and/or pain in a tooth or on gum?

What’s your first step? Don’t be surprised if you don’t know. Most of us aren’t that familiar with the recommendations. But after this post, you’ll be the go-to source if it happens.

So What, Exactly, is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any event that warrants immediate care to save a tooth, stop bleeding from the mouth, or relieve tooth or mouth from pain. Some of the most common examples we see at Menlo Park Dental Excellence include a broken tooth, chipped old filling of upper front tooth, cracked or knocked-out tooth or a toothache with a bump on roof of the mouth or cheek side.

Tips for Treating Common Dental Emergencies

We see our fair share of dental emergencies here in Menlo Park and we’re equipped to handle them all. If you or a family member experience any of these, call us as soon as possible, and we’ll let you know if you’ll need to see one of our dentists.

• A broken tooth or a chipped old filling of upper front tooth

Take a picture without your lip in the way

Send it by text or email to our office 650-838-0260 or to Dr. Nguyen’s ER phone from our recording service.

• Call & get advice right away

Most of the time, Dr. Nguyen is able to give you a permanent or temporary tooth to go home with pleasant appearance and out of pain and discomfort.

• Knocked-out tooth

For adults, place the tooth in the socket without touching the root; if that’s not possible, place the tooth between your cheek and gums, in milk, in clean mild salt water ( saline water) or in ADA-approved tooth-preservation solution. It’s crucial to keep the tooth wet and clean.

For children with baby teeth, come to our office as soon as possible; do not try to place the tooth in the socket.

Rinse your mouth, and place an ice pack on your face to reduce the swelling. Wrap the tooth up in wet gauze or a towel, and bring it to the office.

• Cracked tooth

When a tooth cracks, it causes pain when you sucks air, bite down  when you swallow saliva or chew on hard food. It feels more pain when you relieve your strong bite.

Try not to chew, bite, or suck air on the side with the cracked tooth. Most of the time, the tooth needs a filling or a crown to remove the cracked portion of this tooth.

• Toothache/Sensitivity

Brush and floss well around this ached tooth.

Take 800mg Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) , 3 times a day, for 3 days while waiting to see your dentist. If you have stomach ulcer or any conditions that you can not take Ibuprofen, then take 500mg Tylenol ES, 4 times a day, for 3 days then see your dentist. Avoid cold water, cold drinks, or cold foods.

Call and ask your dentist for advice and give Chlorhexidine Gluconate 0.12% to help you with the inflamed gum or any inflammation in the nerve or gum.

Use warm water to rinse your mouth, and gently floss to remove any food. If you note any facial swelling (which may signal infection), come to our office or your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

• Bitten Tongue or Lip

Clean the area with a cloth, or rinse your mouth with water. Apply an ice pack to the area. If the bleeding doesn’t slow, come to our office or go to the ER.

Tips for Preventing Emergencies

Taking the right measures can keep your teeth safe. Here are a few easy precautions you and your family can take each day:

• Use scissors or a tool, rather than your teeth, to open or cut items

• Wear a mouthguard when playing high-impact sports, like football, basketball, and soccer

• Wear a helmet when using a bike, scooter, or skateboard

• Never chew hard foods, like ice and hard candy, or chicken bone

• Help young children keep toys and small items out of their mouths

Need More Information?

Give us a call or send us an email. Everyone at Menlo Park Dental Excellence.

is happy to answer any questions you have! While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen – We are here to help.

Dr. Nguyen and her staff at Menlo Park Dental Excellence, Menlo Park, CA to help ease your discomfort and save your smile!

If you experience a dental emergency, call our Menlo Park dental practice as soon as possible at (650) 838-0260. If you need immediate attention after hours, call our emergency phone number and our on-call staff member will help you.

If you are unable to reach our office during an emergency of severe pain/ swelling that cause you to have difficult swallowing and breathing, please dial 911.

At Menlo Park Dental Excellence, we are here to help you, any time, any day. When your dental health is at risk, we will do everything we can to make sure that you’re treated as soon as possible. When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to take great care of your teeth, and we are here to help!

*For any pain or swelling Emergency Appointment, please call 650-838-0260 during business hours, 7:30am-6:00pm, Monday to Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm on Saturdays.

Because it is difficult to check online every minute of the day, We DO NOT accept Emergency Appointments for Pain or Swelling Online.