Top 10 Dental Emergencies and What To Do About Them

woman experiencing dental emergency

One of your worst fears is realized: You fell face first onto the concrete, and you felt that front tooth break. Panic mode ensues. What the heck are you going to do now? Don’t panic, we’ve got some answers for you.

There are all types of dental emergencies and most of the time, the answer is going to see a dentist as soon as you possibly can. However, until you get to the dentist, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.

Dental Emergencies 101:

Without further ado, these are the ten emergencies you’re going to run into at one point or another. Just like the Boy Scouts say: “Always be prepared.”

#1 You Broke or Chipped Your Tooth.

This is easily one of the most painful emergencies. You’re going to want to call the dentist as soon as possible. Meanwhile, rinse out your mouth with warm water, and try to keep the tooth if possible. Also, try to put an ice-pack on it in transit to the dentist.

#2 You Knocked a Tooth Loose.

So your tooth is loose, but didn’t get knocked out. That’s good news (even though it hurts). The dentist may be able to save your tooth. Take some over the counter painkillers, put some ice on it, and get to the dentist as soon as possible.

#3 Broke or Lost Your Crown or Filling.

Oh boy, that’s no fun. Hopefully, you didn’t swallow it. If you did, don’t worry, you’re not going to die. Try to keep the crown or filling if you still have it.

Your tooth is going to be very sensitive to anything going into your mouth. That includes air. You can use clove oil to try to soothe the sensitivity as well as get some dental cement from a local drug store. Once again, get to the dentist as soon as you can because you’re likely in pain.

#4 Sudden Painful Toothache.

Toothaches can be the symptom of a lot of different problems. The best thing to do is start with rinsing out your mouth with some warm water. Then try to gently floss around the tooth to make sure no food is hanging out around there. If it persists, you’re going to need to take a trip to the dentist.

#5 Something is Lodged Between Your Teeth.

When something gets stuck between your teeth, it can become rather painful and could lead to infection. It’s got to come out pronto. First, try to get it out with some floss. If that hurts too much, you could also try something like Soft Picks for a gentler approach. If all else fails, you’re going to want to call the dentist.

#6 Sudden Swelling in Your Mouth.

This could happen for a number of reasons, but is potentially very serious. You may have an abscessed tooth. Abscessed teeth are no joke. The infection can spread quickly, and since your mouth is in your head where your brain resides, you’re playing with fire if you let this one go.

There’s really nothing you can do other than getting to the dentist as soon as possible. Unless, that is, you want to pull a Cast Away. But that method is highly frowned upon and should only be used if stranded on a desert island.

#7 You Broke Your Braces.

Braces have a lot of moving parts. Sometimes those moving parts break. First, if they break, call your orthodontist to get in as quickly as possible.

If a wire breaks, you’ll want to get it somewhere where it isn’t poking you. If there’s no way of moving it to a place that isn’t hurting, use some orthodontic wax to cover it until you can get to the orthodontist.

If it’s a band that loosens, salvage it and set up an appointment with your orthodontist to have it replaced or re-cemented.

#8 You Bit Your Cheek or Tongue.

This happens all the time when you’re eating, chewing gum, or just not paying attention. Most of the time it’s not too much of an issue, but there can be circumstances that make it more traumatic. In that case, the first step is to try and stop the bleeding. Rinse your mouth with some saltwater, then use a piece of gauze to put pressure on the wound.

If you can’t stop the bleeding and your dentist is unavailable, go to the ER. They may need to take a look at it.

#9 Injured Your Jaw

A broken jaw is no fun. Basically, there’s nothing you can do for this other than take some over the counter painkillers and put some ice on it until you can get to the ER.

#10 Wisdom Teeth Become Inflamed

Wisdom teeth are tricky business. They seem to come whenever they please, and when they do, they can easily wreak havoc. Pericoronitis is an infection that can occur when your wisdom teeth don’t come in properly. If you get it, you’ll know because of your irritated gums in that area, as well as possible bad breath. See a dentist as soon as possible to get this one figured out.

What Can You Do to Prevent Dental Emergencies?

In some cases, it’s going to be impossible to prevent an emergency. But there are a few things you can do to limit the odds:

  • Wear a mouthguard: If you’re playing any kind of sport, it’s going to be a good idea to keep those teeth safe with a good quality mouthguard.
  • Avoid chewing damaging foods: Think ice, popcorn kernels, caramels, that sort of the thing. They can easily cause you teeth to break.
  • Brush and floss: Do it! Keep your mouth healthy.
  • See your dentist regularly: It’s not always going to be your favorite thing, but your dentist is your best bet for keeping your teeth in great shape.

So there you have it, the worst of the dental emergencies. Have you had your own experience with a dental emergency? Let us know about it in the comment section.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source

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7 Reasons Your Teeth Might Hate You – and What You Can Do About It

You take a sip of your latte, only to be reminded of the sharp pain you’ve been experiencing in your teeth. Hot drinks, cold drinks, even the chilly winter air in Danbury seems to set it off. What’s causing this pain and what can you do to prevent it?

Tooth pain and sensitivity are quite common, affecting millions of people. These occur when the enamel in a tooth is worn away and the gum line recedes. This leaves the unprotected surface beneath (called dentin) exposed. When the dentin is exposed, this allows the trigger to shoot straight to the nerve, causing that unbearable pain you feel.

Tooth sensitivity may feel like sharp pain in one or two teeth or constant discomfort in your whole mouth. The good news is, you can do something about it!

What can cause tooth sensitivity?

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Brushing Too Hard

Although you should brush thoroughly several times a day, go easy – brushing too hard can contribute to enamel erosion. Using a new, soft-bristled toothbrush along with proper brushing techniques can make a huge difference in maintaining your oral hygiene without potentially harming the enamel or exposing the dentin around the gum line.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Tooth grinding, either when awake or asleep, can damage enamel. It’s sometimes hard to know if you are grinding your teeth at night, however, a dull headache or sore jaw upon waking are tell-tale signs. In addition to causing sensitivity, bruxism can cause severe tooth damage, tooth loss, and other serious medical issues. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, speak to Dr. Gerfen about using a dental mouth guard.

Harsh Mouthwash

It might be hard to believe, but certain over-the-counter mouthwashes actually contain acids and chemicals that can increase your sensitivity, especially when your gums have begun to recede. Don’t risk making your tooth pain worse! Use neutral fluoride solution instead.

Potential Tooth Decay or a Crack

It’s possible a decaying or damaged tooth is to blame for your sensitivity. A sudden onset of pain may be a sign that one or two teeth in particular are in severe need of attention and repair. Regular visits to Dr. Gerfen are vital to keep up with proper oral health.

Plaque Build-Up

Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It can build up when proper flossing and brushing are neglected. A little plaque on the teeth is normal, but when it starts to build up, it could result in tooth sensitivity. Removing plaque that’s built up over time can be very difficult, so preventative measures should be a priority. Schedule a dental cleaning to remove plaque and avoid causing more damage to your teeth.

Acidic Foods and Beverages

You may notice certain foods or drinks may trigger your tooth pain. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, wine, soda, juice, or other acidic beverages. Even certain foods with high acid content can contribute to discomfort. Sometimes changing what you eat and drink is enough to reduce your sensitivity, but it’s important to see Dr. Gerfen to evaluate the underlying cause.

A Recent Dental Visit

It is entirely normal to feel some tooth sensitivity when leaving the dentist after a check-up or procedure. Teeth cleaning, crown placement, or tooth restoration can all cause discomfort, but this tends to disappear within a matter of days or weeks. If you’ve recently had a root canal or a tooth removed, this too will likely cause considerable sensitivity for several weeks.

Understanding these common causes of tooth sensitivity will help you manage

and control your symptoms. With the help and guidance of your Danbury dental expert, your teeth and gums can remain healthy and pain-free. Call either our Danbury dentist office or our Brookfield location for an appointment at (203) 743-1972  and find relief for your tooth sensitivity today!

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6 Simple Ways To Keep Your Teeth Where They Belong – In Your Mouth!

Dental HygieneRemember dental checkups when you were younger? The only thing that mattered was finding out “Do I have any cavities?”  As we get older, life gets more complicated. We stop thinking about cavities and start thinking about everything else.

Even though we have other things to think about, cavity prevention is still vital to a healthy mouth, which translates to a healthier body overall.

A cavity isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Bacteria in your mouth produce acids that literally eat away at the tooth, causing tooth decay. If left untreated, it can lead to infection and tooth loss.

You already know brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and keeping up with regular dental checkups is standard cavity prevention.

In addition to brushing, flossing and seeing you Danbury Dentist Dr. Gerfen at least twice a year, here are six simple things you can do to help lower your risk for tooth decay:

  • Rinse between meals: Even if you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water after eating.
  • Use a straw: Carbonated drinks weaken enamel (the hard, protective outer layer of your tooth). Using a straw helps keep the drink away from your teeth.
  • Avoid sticky foods: That candy bar might taste delicious, but the gooey goodness sticks to your teeth longer, increasing your risk for tooth decay.
  • Avoid acidic foods: Acids in foods and drinks weaken tooth enamel for up to an hour after you eat them.
  • Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing gum (especially if it contains xylitol) increases saliva, which helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Drink more water: Water promotes saliva production and helps remove food particles.

These tips are universal, but if you have specific concerns, Danbury dentist Dr. Gerfen can provide personal tips and information to help you avoid tooth decay and cavities. If it’s time for a checkup, call us at (203) 743-1972 to schedule your appointment in our Danbury office.

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Understanding 10 Common Instruments Your Dentist Uses

Danbury dentist

You hear the word “dentist”—what does your mind conjure? Most people relate it with, “The Drill.” So you may recognize certain noises or sensations in a dental visit, but what’s actually being put in your mouth?

A Dentist’s Tool-Belt

Most tools of the trade will be visible to you from the dental chair. Since we often fear the unknown, why not learn to identify these tools often used by your Danbury dentist?

Mirror, Mirror, on the…rod—this small, round mirror angled on the end of a metal stick allows the dentist to view the hidden side of teeth.

A little probe here, a little probe there—a sickle probe, also known as a dental explorer, is a metal stick with a thin, curved hook. You’ll notice the dentist touches the surface of your teeth with this tool to determine the amount of enamel, plaque, and tartar on a tooth and to test the tooth’s hardness. Periodontal probes look very similar to the sickle probe except the end is blunted. Its design enables a measuring of the amount of space between your gum tissue and tooth—signs of gum disease.

The melodious drill—perhaps it’s the high pitch, but for some reason, most people unnecessarily dread the dental drill. Different drills are used for different things, such as filling cavities, repairing chips, smoothing teeth, or removing tooth decay. No wonder it feels like it’s always running!

Cotton pliers—they look like small tongs with tapered points that bend at an angle. They’re used to handle cotton or other small items placed in or removed from the mouth. Isn’t that better than your dentist’s fingers?

Excavation by spoon—really it’s another metal stick-type tool but designed with a tiny spoon-shaped end. Variations of this tool allow the dentist to remove different levels of softened decay or temporary fillings.

“Spill in aisle 3”—your head is tilted back and there are dental instruments working in your mouth—don’t panic! The disposable saliva ejector provides a low amount of suction to remove saliva, blood, water, or debris during procedures.

A little pinch—for procedures known to cause some pain, a numbing or freezing agent must be administered. Check out this brief, animated video by KirrilyRae and note the visual difference between a “regular” needle and a dental syringe.

“I saw a blue light”– The material used in tooth repairs will not harden until exposed to the dental curing light. You may remember it as a “blue light” with an orange shield.

Dental Instruments, Not Scary…Fascinating!

Is it time for your bi-annual dental check-up or cleaning? Make that appointment today with Dr. Gerfen, your trusted Danbury dentist—and then congratulate yourself for knowing exactly how you came about having that dazzling smile!

Share your guessimate—what dental tool uses wavelengths to reshape a person’s gum line?

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Which Toothbrush Is Better? Electric or Manual?

Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones? That’s the question debated among many dentists, and the answer to that question: It all depends on what kind of “brusher” you are.

Dental Hygiene Danbury

If you have too much plaque buildup and brush too hard…

You might want to switch to an electric toothbrush. There are times when patients want to do a perfect job of brushing their teeth, which causes them to brush too hard on the gums. As a result, it can cause gum recession and abrasion.

The electric toothbrush is less dependent on correct brushing technique, which will do all the work for you without harming your gums and teeth.

If your brushing technique is flawless…

Your manual toothbrush will do just fine. If you are following a good oral hygiene and see your hygienist regularly, there is no need to switch to an electric toothbrush. A manual toothbrush can effectively get rid of the plaque in your smile as long you maintain a proper brushing technique.

When you are brushing, aim the toothbrush bristles at the gum line and move the brush in a circular, gentle motion. This will sweep the plaque away from your gums, promoting supreme oral health.

Oral hygiene tips

Whether you choose the electric or manual toothbrush, you should always bear in mind these tips to look after your teeth:

  • Stay away from the hard and medium bristle toothbrush. Always choose the soft bristles for a gentle brushing.
  • Clean your teeth in the morning and at night.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.
  • Floss every day.
  • Clean your tongue to remove any extra plaque hidden in your mouth.

You have the power to keep plaque at bay, and obtain a beautiful smile by visiting top dentist in Danbury, Dr. Gerfen for professional cleanings. Please give us a call today if you are in need of a dental check-up!

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Dentists in Danbury Provide 4 Vital Steps to Good Oral Health

Dentists in Danbury Provide 4 Vital Steps to Good Oral HealthMaintaining good oral health is not achieved simply by accident. It requires diligent effort, and preventative action. Dentists in Danbury play an essential role in the success of healthy smiles, but this doesn’t relieve patients of their own personal responsibility in limiting the likelihood of tooth decay, infection, and other serious oral health issues. How many of these 4 important steps are you following?

1. Regularly Visiting Dentist—When receiving regular examinations and professional cleanings, tartar is removed, teeth are polished, and fluoride is applied. Dr. Gerfen will also thoroughly inspect your teeth and gums, using high tech instruments to detect issues with your oral health that you may not be aware of, including oral cancer. Early detection of these problems promotes better health, less invasive procedures required, and saves you money in the long run.

2. Eat a Balanced Diet—Bacteria in the mouth feeds on starches and sugars, producing acid that attacks teeth. Limit foods and beverages high in sugar along with snacking between meals.

3. Tooth Brushing—Brush with fluoride toothpaste and an ADA approved toothbrush, replacing it around every 3-4 months, or earlier if necessary. Brush twice a day, especially before going to bed.

4. Clean Between Teeth—Daily cleaning between teeth, using floss or an interdental cleaner cleans areas of the tooth not reached by brushing. This step is just as vital in preventing gum disease and tooth loss as brushing is.

At Soams Dental, we would be proud to work together with you in keeping the smiles of you and your loved ones in premium condition. Feel free to contact us today for all your dental needs, Like us on Facebook, and to pass this information on to your friends and family. As an elite professional among the dentists in Danbury, your smile is in good hands with Dr. Gerfen.

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Danbury Dentists Share 3 Tips For Healthy Smiles While on Vacation

Danbury dentists share tips for vacation smilesWith the arrival of winter, many travel to sun-drenched climates to escape the cold, and take a break from their daily routine. Elite Danbury dentists like Dr. Gerfen can help make sure that your oral health stays in tip-top shape, allowing you to make the most of your much needed winter getaway. Although oral hygiene may not register as high on people’s priority list as sunscreen and cold beverages by the pool, practicing good oral health is a habit that patients should never take a vacation from. This poses a challenge because travelling and participating in touristic activities can easily alter a regularly scheduled routine. Therefore, follow these 3 tips to help you enjoy your winter vacation without damaging your teeth and gums:

1. Dental Visits—Encountering major tooth problems while on vacation is a sure way to dampen the fun. Regularly scheduled dental visits every 6 months or so help prevent minor oral health issues from developing into serious ones. See your dentist before taking an extended trip away from home.

2. Prepare Ahead of Time—Along with your regular oral health care kit, bring along an extra travel-size toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you. Have them easily accessible for all the members of the family, including children.

3. Don’t Get Lazy—Don’t reason that you’re too tired to brush your teeth when returning after a late night; that it’s not really necessary because you’re just lazing by the pool, or enjoying a relaxing day back at the hotel. Remember, plaque build-up doesn’t take the day off just because you decide too.

Book an appointment with us at Soams Dental today to receive the smile-benefits that only top-notch Danbury dentists like Dr. Gerfen can deliver. Doing so can help ensure your winter vacation gives you and your loved ones every reason to smile.

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Your Danbury Dentist Gives 6 Reasons Why Your Mouth Wants You To Stop Smoking

Danbury DentistAre you still struggling with trying to conquer the tobacco habit? It’s encouraging to know that along with your close friends and family, your Danbury dentist is also cheering you on in your effort to kick tobacco to the curb. Most are familiar that using tobacco can cause a number of serious health issues that can significantly shorten life expectancy. Yet many are far less aware of the effects it also has on the individuals oral health. Tobacco users are more likely to develop:



1. A decreased sense of smell and taste, along with foul smelling breath.

2. Damaged immune systems, resulting in slower recovery times after dental procedures, along with reducing the likelihood of success with other treatments such as dental implants.

3. Periodontal disease, leading to infection, bleeding of the gums, and loss of teeth.

4. Oral cancer. This form of cancer has a high mortality rate, especially when not discovered in its early stages. Statistics reveal that 100 new cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed every day in the United States alone.

5. Discolored, yellow teeth that communicate poor health and premature aging.

6. Loss of teeth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a staggering 41.3% of daily smokers over the age of 65 are toothless.

Make today the day that you finally quit the tobacco habit. Contact Dr. Gerfen to get the needed assistance in reversing the adverse effects that tobacco usage has had on your mouth. With the help of your go-to Danbury dentist, your gorgeous, healthy looking smile will be able to celebrate your tobacco free lifestyle with pride.

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Danbury Dentistry Reveals 4 Ways Tooth Decay Harms Kids

Baby teeth are only temporary, but this doesn’t mean that parents/children should have a lackadaisical attitude towards keeping them healthy. In providing Danbury with superior dentistry for children, Dr. Gerfen works diligently in educating both parents and children alike about the importance of maintaining good oral health at all stages in life. Consider 4 ways that children can be negatively impacted by developing tooth decay and gum disease at a young age:

1. Overall Health—Tooth decay can lead to infections. Loss of sleep, severe pain, irritability, attention deficit, and stunted emotional growth can be some of the results.

2. Premature Loss of Baby Teeth—Missing teeth can hamper a child’s ability to break food down and digest it properly. Early loss of teeth can also lead to shifting of neighboring teeth, negatively impacting the emergence of adult teeth later on down the road.

3. Lifelong Habits—Children raised with minimal value placed on practicing good oral health at a young age are far less likely to improve that attitude once they’ve grown older.

4. Paying the Price—Tooth decay and infection can damage overall physical health. Frequent visits to the dentist and doctor, along with increased sick days experienced by the child can equate to unnecessary additional strains on a parent’s time, energy, and finances.

Book an appointment for you and your children at Soams Dental Care today. Our caring, professional Danbury dentistry will help ensure that you and your children can have happy, healthy looking smiles that will last a lifetime.

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