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What is a dental emergency and what is not

Posted on April 10, 2020 in General oral health


COVID-19 Dental Emergencies infographicTo help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many dentists are only providing emergency dental care as directed by the American Dental Association (ADA). Learn what is considered a dental emergency and what is not to understand when to seek care or when it is safe to wait.

You should call your dentist if you experience:

  • Bleeding that doesn't stop
  • Painful swelling in or around your mouth
  • Severe tooth or mouth pain
  • Gum infection that is causing pain or swelling
  • Broken filling that is causing pain
  • Chipped, broken or knocked out tooth that is painful
  • Snipping or adjusting wire of braces that are painful to cheeks or gums
  • Post-surgery treatment (stitch removal)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends rescheduling:

  • Routine cleanings
  • Routine exams for braces
  • Treatment of cavities that aren't painful
  • Removal of teeth that aren't painful
  • Tooth whitening

Even during this outbreak, it's important to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Keep your smile healthy by:

  • Brushing twice a day and flossing daily
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Limiting sugary foods and keeping a balanced diet
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
  • Replacing your toothbrush when bristles are worn or frayed or after an illness

When in doubt, contact your dentist and they can help determine if you need to come to the office for treatment or provide home remedies.