Common Dental Emergencies and First Aid

Common Dental Emergencies and First Aid

The discovery of dental emergencies in your mouth can be unsettling; since it’s difficult to diagnose the problem on your own. Distinguishing between a dental emergency that requires professional help and something you can treat yourself is challenging for a non-expert.

Although some self-help measures or home remedies may ease the discomfort in certain situations, it’s extremely important to see a dentist or medical professional as soon as possible to prevent further injury and get your mouth back to health. In this article, we have described some common dental emergencies so that you can take the right measures.



Most dental emergencies involve some degree of discomfort or pain. The amount of pain you feel can be a good indicator of the most appropriate course of action. For example, if you feel pain when biting down on food, this may be a sign of a chipped tooth or even an infection in the gums.

You can try taking some Tylenol to relieve the swelling if the pain is minimal. It might also be helpful to put an ice pack on the painful area. For a checkup, be sure to see your dentist within a week. Try not to chew or bite on a suspected broken tooth until your dentist has examined it. If the pain is severe, don’t hesitate to call a dentist or go to the emergency room immediately.

Broken or Knocked-Out Tooth

Common Dental Emergencies and First Aid

Despite their strength, teeth are susceptible to damage from various causes such as decay and pressure. Even though a cracked or broken tooth is not painful, it can cause discomfort when felt with the tongue, and if a larger portion of the tooth is broken, it can cause nerve pain.

Attempting to repair a broken tooth at home is not advisable, and immediate treatment by a dentist is required. A dentist can diagnose the cause of the fracture and offer solutions for repair. Below are some common methods for repairing a broken or damaged tooth:

Dental Cap or Crown

If a tooth is badly decayed or damaged, the dentist may remove part of the remaining tooth and put on a crown that looks like a tooth. This protects the tooth and improves its appearance. Many materials are available for crowns.

Although all-metal crowns are the strongest, porcelain and resin crowns can be made to closely resemble natural teeth.

Root Canal Treatment

In a chipped or broken tooth where the pulp (the inner part of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves) is exposed, bacteria can enter the mouth and cause infection. Signs of pulp damage or infection include tooth discoloration, heat sensitivity, and pain.

If the dead pulp is not removed, the tooth can become infected and must be extracted. In a procedure called root canal therapy, the dead pulp is extracted, cleaned, and the root canal is closed. A dental expert can do this for you, and the pain you will experience will not be severe. After the procedure, a crown may be needed to protect the weakened tooth.

Dental Bridge

If a tooth has broken off at the gum line and the damage is severe, a dental bridge may be a better solution than trying to save the natural tooth. With a dental bridge, the root of the damaged tooth is removed and the gum can heal before an artificial tooth is placed to fill the gap.

Dental Veneers

If one of your front teeth is damaged or chipped, its appearance and health can be restored with a dental veneer. Dental veneers are thin coatings of tooth-colored material, usually porcelain or composite, that are placed on the front of the affected tooth. They function much like fake fingernails, with a thicker portion filling in the broken portion of the tooth. With proper care, veneers can last up to three decades, so they do not need to be replaced frequently.


You can develop various types of infections and abscesses if you do not pay enough attention to your dental hygiene. Gum disease is one of the most common dental emergencies and is usually the reason for such infections.

Many symptoms like fever, persistent toothache, and increased sensitivity to cold and heat can indicate an oral infection, as can swollen face and lumps on the gums near the affected area.

If you do not take care of the infection soon, it will most likely spread to other parts of your body. Therefore, it is crucial to watch out for unusual symptoms in the mouth and seek urgent medical attention if needed.

Bleeding or Swelling

Seeing blood in your mouth, especially from the gums, could indicate a serious dental problem such as gum disease. If the bleeding is persistent or severe, you should see a dentist urgently. This is a situation that you shouldn’t tolerate for an extended period.

Swelling in the mouth can be a sign of a serious dental infection and shouldn’t be ignored either, as it’s unlikely to go away on its own, so you should act immediately. To help manage the situation before your appointment, it’s important to stand upright and not lie flat. It’s also recommended to drink plenty of fluids to maintain hydration.

Maintain Good Oral Health

These common dental emergencies can occur despite good dental hygiene. If you’re looking for a reliable and knowledgeable dental team to care for you and your family’s oral health, look no further than Dentists on Washington.

Contact Us With Any Dental Emergencies

Our team of knowledgeable and compassionate dental experts is dedicated to helping you achieve a healthy and attractive smile. So don’t hesitate any longer to take control of your dental health. Book an appointment with us today and discover the positive impact that quality dental care can have on your life.

How Long Does It Take To Whiten Your Teeth

How Long Does It Take To Whiten Your Teeth?

Are you looking for ways to whiten your teeth? If you are unhappy with your teeth, you probably do not share your smile with the world very often. And that’s completely normal. Why? Our confidence, relationships, and first impressions can be affected by yellow or discolored teeth, making us feel insecure and embarrassed.

The solution? Teeth whitening can make your teeth shine brighter than a disco ball! 

Still, you’ll probably have some questions about teeth whitening when you first consider making an appointment with your dentist for the procedure. Specifically, the question, “how long will it take to whiten my teeth?”

The answer largely depends on the condition of your teeth, the cause of the discoloration, and the type of treatment you want. However, we are confident that you will be thrilled with the results. Let’s dive in.

How Long Does It Take To Whiten Your Teeth

Causes Of Discolored Or Stained Teeth

Teeth become dull due to a number of factors, causing them to lose their pearly whiteness. Various foods can discolor enamel, the outer layer of teeth. It’s also possible for your teeth to appear yellow due to the buildup of plaque. Other reasons for discolored teeth are

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Natural aging process
  • Tartar and plaque deposits
  • Using tobacco
  • Coffee, tea, or colas
  • Eating pigmented foods like blueberries
  • Teeth trauma

Just remember, the perfect smile doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication… and the occasional dental appointment or two!

Choosing A Dental Professional For Teeth Whitening

“It is time to whiten my teeth,” a thought like this will make you question your budget, expectations, and treatment options. As far as teeth whitening is concerned, it is essential to choose a dentist with a lot of experience for the treatment. Your dentist should be able to support and advise you so that the results are completely satisfactory for you.

In-Office Whitening Treatments

The two main teeth-whitening chemicals used in such treatments are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Unlike whitening toothpaste, which mechanically dissolves surface discoloration with an abrasive ingredient, these whitening treatments weaken your tooth stains at the molecular level. 

Many OTC whitening strips, kits, and pens also contain some type of peroxide. The chemical concentration sets them apart from professional teeth whitening products. A faster, albeit more expensive, way to whiten your teeth is to have them professionally whitened at a dental office. Below are some tempting options and their duration for a teeth whitening treatment:

UV Or LED Teeth Whitening

This is one of the most common teeth whitening techniques, and some people consider it the best way to achieve an attractive smile.

It usually takes our experts an hour to perform this simple procedure at Dentists On Washington. While you relax in our comfortable treatment chairs, the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide-based gel and activates it with a special light. You can read, watch TV, or listen to music while the whitening agent works to lighten your teeth a few shades.

Tray-Based Whitening

These trays provide significant whitening results. This procedure uses chemicals that penetrate the enamel and work from the inside out to whiten your teeth. To accomplish this, we use a tray that resembles a mouth guard to apply the active ingredient to your teeth. 

To do this, we fill the tray with whitening gel and place it over your teeth to allow the gel to work. In most cases, the treatment can be completed within one to two hours. Under certain circumstances, follow-up treatment may be required.

How Long Does It Take To Whiten My Teeth?

When considering teeth whitening at your dentist’s office, one of the most common questions is: How long will it take to whiten my teeth? Approximately 1.5 hours are required for the entire procedure.

You can expect the whiteness of your teeth to last between six months and two years after professional teeth whitening.

Extending The Effectiveness Of Tooth Whitening Procedures 

You may be wondering how I can maintain the whiteness of my teeth at home after treatment in the office.

By maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, you can easily prolong the effectiveness of teeth whitening. Many of these good oral hygiene habits and products are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash, and avoiding foods and beverages that can stain your teeth are simple and affordable steps you can take to keep your teeth looking their best.

Is In-office Tooth Whitening Safe?

Over the years, teeth whitening techniques have been extensively tested to ensure that they’re safe and effective. Illegal use of teeth whitening materials by non-dental professionals can pose a number of risks to patients, including swelling of the tongue and lips, burns in the mouth, sensitivity, and other problems. However, when teeth whitening is performed by a qualified and licensed dentist, the procedures are quite safe.

What Are The Side Effects Of In-office Tooth Whitening?

Some tooth sensitivity is very common after teeth whitening. Immediately after a teeth whitening treatment, for example, you may experience sensitivity upon contact with hot or cold liquids. However, on average, the sensitivity should subside within 24 to 48 hours after whitening. If your teeth remain sensitive, consult your dentist.

Does Bleaching Only Work On Natural Teeth?

You should keep in mind that teeth whitening products and procedures only affect the natural structure of your teeth. Bleaching agents cannot be used on caps, crowns, veneers, bridges, and bonding materials. To match your newly whitened teeth, it may be necessary to replace any dental work that was done before whitening.

Does At-home Teeth Whitening Work?

You may be wondering if it is possible to whiten your teeth at home to save time or money. There are thousands of teeth whitening products available today that claim to whiten your teeth by eight shades or more. However, it’s essential to know that whitening your teeth at home comes with some risks. Some over-the-counter teeth whitening products contain bleaching agents that can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums if not used properly.

In addition, at-home teeth whitening is usually less effective than in-office treatment. For example, professional teeth whitening usually uses a much stronger concentration of active bleaching agents than over-the-counter products, resulting in much better and longer-lasting results.

Schedule An Appointment for Professional Tooth Whitening

After professional teeth whitening, you’ll feel confident, refreshed, and ready to show off your bright white teeth!

The effects of professional dental treatment can last a few months to a year if you eat healthily, avoid stains, don’t smoke, and have your teeth cleaned regularly. At Dentists On Washington, our experts offer a wide range of dental services, including teeth whitening, veneers, and other procedures to suit your needs. Schedule an appointment today and begin your journey to a perfect smile.