Emergency Dental Care

At Burlingame Dental Arts, we provide a comprehensive range of emergency dental care services. Our staff understands that some issues just can’t wait a few days before receiving treatment.

We offer same-day appointments for patients, both children and adults, that require emergency dental care. Oral trauma can have a significant impact on your ability to perform basic daily activities like talking and eating while also creating stress over the state of your appearance. Our team can help take the stress out of your dental emergency by providing the attention and care you deserve.

What Are Some Examples of Dental Emergencies?

You need immediate dental care to protect your long-term oral health if you have 

  • Bleeding that won’t stop
  • A loose or knocked-out permanent tooth
  • An injured jaw
  • Painful swelling
  • Painful toothache (dental abscess)

Cracked or Dislodged Tooth

Any trauma to the mouth can cause teeth to crack, break, or be knocked out or dislodged. There may also be some bleeding and lacerations to the gums. It is important to see a dentist for emergency dental care because if left untreated such an injury can lead to serious complications.  

Dental Abscess

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain, swelling, redness in the gums, bad taste in the mouth, and fever. An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth. If an abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth, and surrounding tissues.

Jaw Pain

Symptoms of chronic jaw and facial pain include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, pain when biting, or headaches. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam, which may include x-rays, to determine the cause of the pain. Possible cause of jaw pain may include sinus problems, toothache, infections, arthritis, injury, tooth grinding, periodontal disease, problems with your jaw or the temporomandibular joint.

What are Examples of Non-Urgent Dental Issues?

The following are considered non-urgent dental issues that can wait a day or two until you can schedule an appointment with your dentist:

  • Lost Filling, Crown, or Bridge
  • Broken or Cracked Tooth (unless the tooth is causing you severe pain)
  • Broken or Damaged Retainer or Night Guard
  • Food Lodged Between Teeth
  • Dull Toothache
  • TMJ Pain (unless it is causing you severe pain)

Broken or Loose Filling

Fillings may break, loosen or fall out due to the age of the filling or because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the filling. While this may not be a dental emergency, it can be painful as your tooth becomes sensitive to temperature, pressure, or air.  Make sure you make a dental appointment as soon as possible to take care of the exposed tooth.  

Broken or Loose Crown

If you lose a crown, save it and bring it in with you to your next dental appointment. You don’t want to wait too long to take care of this, as your teeth may move into space where the crown once was and your crown may no longer fit.  

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

Facial pain may be related to the joint located in the front of your ear called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. TMJ pain can occur in the form of headaches, tenderness around the jaw, and clicking and popping noises when your mouth is open. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam that may include x-rays to determine the cause of the pain. TMJ pain affects 15% of Americans.

What Steps Can You Take At Home Before Getting Emergency Care?

Mouth Healthy, brought to you by the American Dental Association, recommends tackling a dental emergency immediately, as it can mean the difference between saving and losing an adult tooth or a child’s deciduous or permanent tooth.

In case of a dental emergency, take the following measures:

  • If you trip or fall and knock out a tooth, try to salvage the tooth by keeping it moist in some milk. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that is not doable, place it in between your cheek and gum. 
  • In the case of a cracked tooth, rinse your mouth with lukewarm or warm water to clean the area. Cold compresses can help minimize any swelling.
  • If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.
  • If you have something stuck between the teeth, remove it gently with floss. Waxed floss is preferable as it is smoother and will glide easily through the crevices of the teeth. Do not use sharp objects like a knife or anything else pointed, as this could injure your mouth, and your gums could start bleeding.

In case of a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. Direct application of aspirin on gums or cheeks can cause an aspirin burn.

If you or your child has a dental emergency, call Burlingame Dental Arts at (503) 246-8447 to get the care you need.