toothStethescopeEmergency Care Info

Emergency dental care is an important part of our patient services. Dr. Kote makes it a priority to deal with dental emergencies promptly to ensure proper care and comfort. If you experience an injury to the mouth, teeth, gums, or any severe pain or discomfort, please immediately contact our dental office at (865) 984-6193 to schedule an appointment.

If your emergency occurs when our Maryville dental office is closed and you are a patient of record, call (865) 984-6193 and listen for instructions.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

If it hurts, it is an emergency. This is because even injuries that seem small can affect the living tissues inside the teeth. Any perceived damage to the tooth, whether it hurts or not, should also be reported. Chips or fractures of the teeth can affect the living tissue inside the tooth causing additional problems in the future. Dental emergencies also include any conditions that cause swelling or bleeding.

Self-Care Instructions for common dental emergencies:

First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
See your dentist right away. Until you reach your dentist’s office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed.
First, try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. If you can’t get the object out, see your dentist. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.
If the temporary crown comes off for more that a few hours, the tooth can shift so that the new crown made by the dentist might not fit properly. The best thing to do is to go back to the dentist to get it re-cemented so bring the old temporary crown with you. In the meantime, put it back yourself. If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place.
As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. See your dentist as soon as possible.
If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!

Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:

Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.