What to do for dental emergencies

Caring For Our Kids

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dental emergencies are one of the most common reasons children are sent to the emergency room.

From knocked-out teeth to dental infections to even broken jaws, it’s important to know what to do in these emergency situations.

Dr. Katy Stordahl from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital stopped by the WATE 6 On Your Side to talk more about dental emergencies.

Dental infection

According to Dr. Stordahl, this is one of the things ETCH sees most, often requiring surgery and sometimes a stay in the hospital.

An abscess is an infection in the tooth or gums, noticeable by swollen sack of pus, caused by bacteria. It must be treated as soon as possible.

Knocked-out teeth

Here are the steps to take if your child gets their teeth knocked out:

  • Find tooth
  • If permanent – hold tooth by crown, not root
  • Clean tooth
  • Try to put back in the socket right away & hold in place
  • Or, store tooth in cold milk – not water
  • Get to the dentist or the ER right away

Cracked tooth

Some steps to take if your child cracks a tooth:

  • Rinse mouth with water to clean area
  • Put cold compresses on the face to keep down swelling
  • See child’s dentist as soon as possible

What if your child bites their lip or tongue?

Some steps to take if your child bites their lip or tongue:

  • Clean area
  • Apply cold compress
  • If injury seems serious or bleeding won’t stop – take child to the ER

What about a broken jaw?

  • Apply cold compress
  • Hold jaw in place
  • Take child to the ER as soon as possible

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