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Emergency Dental Care in Roanoke, VA

Emergency Dental Care in Roanoke, VA

When you have a dental emergency — whether it's caused by a sudden accident or chronic disease — your teeth and/or the tissues of the mouth that surround them need to receive proper care right away. As with any type of medical emergency, it's important to be aware, before you're actually in the situation, of what you can do to ensure the best outcome.

Traumatic Dental Injuries +

A knocked-out permanent tooth requires quick thinking and immediate action. You'll increase the chances that the tooth can be saved if you pick it up without touching the root, gently clean it off with water, and put it back in its socket facing the correct way. Hold it in place with gentle pressure as you rush to the dental office or emergency room. If you can't replant it immediately, tuck it between the patient's cheek and gum, or carry it in a container of cold milk.

Tooth Pain +

Acute or persistent tooth pain always signals a need for an urgent visit to the dental office. The most common cause of dental pain is tooth decay, a bacterial infection that can spread through many parts of the tooth and even into the gum tissue. Sometimes, tooth pain indicates that you may need a root canal treatment — a procedure that not only relieves the pain of an infection deep inside the tooth but also can keep the tooth from having to be removed.

Gum Emergencies +

Any injury to the mouth’s soft tissues should be rinsed with dilute salt water. If there is visible debris, it should be cleared. Bleeding can usually be controlled by pressing a clean, damp material on the area for 10-15 minutes. If this does not work, go to the emergency room immediately.

A foreign body lodged beneath the gum line can sometimes be gently worked out with dental floss or a toothpick. But if this can’t be accomplished easily, make a dental appointment, so the area does not become damaged and/or infected.

Orthodontic Emergencies +

Although there can be discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment, there are only a few true orthodontic emergencies. They include trauma or injury to the teeth, face, or mouth. Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth, or face and severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas can also be orthodontic emergencies.


  • Traumatic Dental Injuries
  • Orthodontic Emergencies
  • Gum Injuries 
  • Tooth Pain
Traumatic Dental Injuries
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Traumatic Dental Emergencies May Include:

  • Sport-related dental injuries.
  • Chipped or broken teeth.
  • Knocked out teeth.
  • Partially displayed teeth.
  • Soft tissue injuries.
Orthodontic Emergencies
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A Major Emergency

There are only a few true orthodontic (or dental) emergencies. They include:

  • Trauma or injury to the teeth, face, or mouth
  • Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth, or face
  • Severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas

Some Minor Troubles

In general, it’s best to try and soothe the immediate cause of the discomfort and then call for an appointment. Here are a few of the more common orthodontic problems, along with some tips on what you can do to relieve them at home:

Loose or broken brackets, bands, or wires –

If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don't connect any elastics to it! You can cover it with orthodontic wax if it's irritating the inside of your mouth. If it has come off, save it.

Misplaced or poking archwire, bracket, or tie –

Often, you can also use tweezers to gently move a misplaced wire or a tie that's causing problems.

When wires or brackets cause irritation, covering the metal parts with wax will often help ease the discomfort. As with any of these types of problems, it's best to make an appointment so it can be taken care of.

General tooth pain or loosening

For minor soreness, you can use your regular over-the-counter pain reliever. A twice-a-day salt-water rinse may also help: Mix one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and rinse for 30 seconds. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw can also offer some relief.

Gum Injuries 
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First Aid for Soft Tissues

First, try to rinse the mouth with a dilute salt water solution. If a wound is visible, it can be cleaned with mild soap and water; if that isn’t possible, try to remove any foreign material by hand and rinse again.

Foreign Bodies

If you feel something stuck under the gum, you can try using dental floss to remove it: Gently work the floss up and down below the gum line to try and dislodge the object.

Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses

If left untreated, abscesses can persist for months and cause serious health problems, including infections that spread to other parts of the body. Treatment usually involves draining the pus and fluid, thoroughly cleaning the affected area, and controlling the infection.

Tooth Pain
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Severe Pain/Root Canal Emergencies

Treatment may include a root canal to remove diseased or dying pulp tissue and/or periodontal procedures to drain the abscess and stop the infection.


To alleviate the symptoms, you can try using a soft brush and toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth for a couple of weeks. Dental treatment itself sometimes causes temporary sensitivity, which can often be relieved by the same methods. If pain persists or grows worse, however, be sure to seek treatment.

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