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Dental FAQs

Do you have a dental concern but not sure what to do next? Here are some common dental questions and suggestions for the next step.

If you have a serious after-hours emergency, please call our office 24/7 at (913) 469-8019. Our messaging machine has further instructions for you.

What to do if I...

Have a Tooth Ache?

Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. Under no circumstances should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen/ibuprofen is recommended. Please contact us for an appointment if the pain persists more than a day.

Cut / Bit a Tongue, Lip or Cheek?

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.

Broke a Tooth?

Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Seek immediate dental attention.

Knocked Out a Permanent Tooth?

Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket, and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Possibly Broken a Jaw?

In the event of jaw injury, go immediately to an emergency room. 

Have a Cold or Canker Sore?

Read our blog post on Canker Sores and Treatment Here.

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth and ofter recur. They are identified by a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores may be reduced by using antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.

Might Have Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is preventable. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks, and even fruit juices, leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth and eat away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

Have Sensitive Teeth?

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

Think You Have Gum Disease?

Read more about gum disease on our Periodontics page here.

Gum, or periodontal disease, can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of the disease gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.

Have Bad Breath (Halitosis)?

Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.

Not seeing your question or answer?

Call our office to speak with our staff and make an appointment.