Emergency Care

There are several problems to watch for after your child has bumped his or her primary or permanent tooth. The nerve and blood vessels inside the tooth may have been damaged. Sometimes the nerve dies and becomes infected. An infection may be evident by one or more of these signs:
  • 1. Pain-especially sensitive to biting or pressure.
  • 2. General swelling of the gum tissue near the tooth.
  • 3. Pimple-like spot (gum boil or abscess).
  • 4. A change in the color of the tooth.
These signs can occur several weeks to several years after the teeth are injured. If you notice any of the above, please contact our office to schedule an appointment to examine the child’s tooth. Treat the problem promptly to prevent further irreversible damage to the tooth. Our office is happy to answer any questions you may have.


If a tooth is completely knocked out, it should be quickly rinsed off with water, but never scrubbed. The tooth should be held by the crown (top), handling the root could damage the ligaments. It is important to call and bring the child to our office immediately.

For knocked out permanent teeth, the sooner the tooth is put back in the socket, the better its chances. The best chance for survival occurs if the tooth is re-implanted within 30 minutes.

Do not wrap the tooth in tissue or gauze. This will cause damage within minutes. Transporting the tooth in water is not recommended also. Placing the tooth in saline (salt water), milk or saliva are effective substitutes.

If the socket is bleeding, rinse the mouth out with water. Place a wad of tissue or gauze on the socket and have your child bite down. The pressure exerted will usually stop the bleeding.

For loosened, pushed in or broken teeth avoid using or applying pressure to the tooth. A soft diet and room temperture liquids is recommended. Tylenol or Ibuprofen can be given for discomfort as needed until the doctor can be seen to evaluate the tooth.

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