Occurs in one third of the population at one time or another. Signs and symptoms: Pain around the ear. Tender jaw muscles. Clicking or popping noises in the jaw. Difficulty opening or closing mouth. Pain when yawning, or chewing. Jaw joints (TMJ) that feel as if they are locked or stuck. Headaches.
Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm water to clean out debris. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped between the teeth. If swelling is present, place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek. (Do not use heat or place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.) See your dentist as soon as possible.
If a wire is causing irritation, cover end of the wire with a small cotton ball, beeswax, or a piece of gauze, until you can get to the dentist.
If a wire is embedded in the cheek, tongue, or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Go to your dentist immediately.
If an appliance becomes loose or a piece of it breaks off, take the appliance and the piece and go to the dentist.
If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it.
Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or cool water.
Go immediately to your dentist (within 30 minutes, if possible). Don't forget to bring the tooth
Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses on the face in the area of the injured tooth, to minimize swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.
Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.
Try to remove the object with dental floss. Guide the floss carefully to avoid cutting the gums. If not successful in removing the object, go to the dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.
Immobilize the jaw by any means (handkerchief, necktie, towel). If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. Call your dentist or go immediately to a hospital emergency room.