Pain, Swelling or Abscess

In the case of pain or swelling, we recommend seeing your dentist right away. Gum pain or swelling can be the symptoms of an abscess, or infection, that forms in gum tissue or in a tooth’s root and the area that surrounds it. There are many reasons why gums can swell, become painful, or abscess. Only a thorough exam by your dentist can identify the underlying cause.

If the abscess ruptures, you may experience a sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting fluid from the swollen or painful area. Rinse your mouth with warm water immediately.

Gums and Soft Tissues

Bitten Tongue or Lip

A small cut (less than 1/4 inch) is likely to heal itself.
Carefully wipe the area clean with gauze or a cloth. Apply a cold compress, ice pack, or small bag of frozen fruit or vegetables to the area to minimize swelling.
If the cut is larger than 1/4 inch, or if bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of cold treatment, go to the emergency room.

Burned Roof of Mouth

Eating very hot food (like pizza) can burn the roof of your mouth. These painful sores and blisters typically heal on their own. If they have not healed after 10 days, see your dentist.

In the meantime, use warm salt water rinses (1/8 of a teaspoon in 8 ounces of water) after meals to keep the area clean. If pain relief is needed use a topical oral anesthetic (found over-the-counter at your pharmacy). You can also take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.

Mouth Sores

If your mouth sores are caused by new braces, apply a topical anesthetic (available over-the-counter at your pharmacy). To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.

Lost Filling

If you found the filling, put it in a safe place and take it with you when you see your dentist.
To make your tooth more comfortable, fill the hole in your tooth with tooth wax or cement (available over-the-counter at your pharmacy). Do not use any household adhesives in your mouth.

Lost Crown

If you found the crown, you may temporarily replace it yourself until you see your dentist.
Gently clean any debris from the inside of your crown.

Apply denture adhesive, dental cement or toothpaste to the inside of the crown before slipping the crown back in place to protect your tooth.

Lost Tooth Due To Injury

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it. Apply gauze to the area and use firm pressure to stop the bleeding. Try to find the missing tooth right away.

When the bleeding stops, apply a cold compress to the injured area to minimize swelling. If bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of constant, firm pressure, see your dentist or go to the emergency room.

Place the tooth in a small container and cover it with milk, water with a pinch of salt, or saliva from the injured person.

For the Broken Tooth

Hold the tooth only by its crown (the enamel, visible portion). If the tooth or root is dirty, place a towel or dishcloth in a sink (so the tooth cannot fall into the drain), and gently rinse the tooth and root but DO NOT SCRUB it or remove any gum tissue that may still be attached to the root.

If possible, gently place the tooth back into its gum socket facing the correct direction (making sure that you do not force the tooth back in place). If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container and cover the tooth in milk, water with a pinch of salt, or saliva from the injured person.

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