Category Archives: Dental Emergency

What to Do in the Event of a Chipped Tooth

Chipped Tooth - Norwich, ConnecticutOh no, you have a chipped tooth! Maybe you fell. Maybe you were hit in the face or mouth. Maybe you bit down on something hard. At first, you thought everything was okay, but running your tongue along your teeth, you feel a jagged edge that wasn’t there before.

Tooth enamel is a very strong material. It has to be for all the chewing that we do. Nevertheless, teeth can break and chip, and sometimes you may not even realize it because there’s no pain. However, if you have a major break, it’s likely that the nerve inside the tooth has been exposed and even damaged, and that’s when the pain starts. If hot or cold drinks or even air touch those nerve endings, it can be quite painful. Fractures occur from accidents, cavities, or old fillings that crack.

You might not be in pain, and you might think your tooth looks and feels just fine, but call your dentist anyway. On the other hand, if your tooth hurts non-stop, it’s a serious sign that the nerve might be damaged, so you definitely need to call.

So what can you do in the mean time for your chipped tooth until you get to the dentist office?


  • First, rinse your mouth with warm water. It might be a bit painful but do it anyway.
  • If you’re bleeding, apply pressure with gauze to try to stop the bleeding. Tea bags will also work.
  • Go ahead and put a cold pack on your cheek or lip near the broken tooth. This will help keep the swelling down. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, too.
  • If it’s going to take you a while to get to the dentist, purchase dental cement from a local pharmacy and cover the cracked part of your tooth as a stopgap repair.


What will my dentist do?

The dentist will do an exam to find out why and how the tooth broke in the first place. Different fractures are repaired differently. It can range from smoothing out a minor crack to putting on a crown. Serious breaks that expose the nerve require more involved procedures. If the nerve is in jeopardy, you will most likely need a root canal. Certain teeth like molars have more than one root, so multiple roots might need repair. In some cases, the root can’t be saved and your dentist will pull the tooth. He or she may recommend a replacement artificial tooth. If your break is due to tooth decay, the damage is sometimes very extensive. The decay may go down into the bone, and teeth are typically removed in this instance as well.

Just remember, for a tooth chip, crack or fracture, contact our office as soon as you can. You will have a better chance of saving that tooth if you do! In the event that you have a chipped tooth or another form of dental emergency, call us immediately at (860) 887-2231.

Oral Health Resolutions: Kick-Start the New Year!

Oral Health Resolutions Norwich CTEvery year, as January begins to approach, you set goals to improve your life in the form of a ‘Resolution’. These self-promises could be anything from joining a new gym, eating healthier or traveling more often. However, there is one area that most people overlook when it comes to New Year’s resolutions; oral health. Taking care of your teeth, gums and oral cavity should be a priority throughout the entire year, so if you haven’t been doing as well as you should so far, this is your chance to make a concrete improvement! There are a few simple practices that you should consider starting in 2017 to improve your oral health for the new year and beyond. Here is a list of oral health resolutions that you can choose to incorporate into your routine.

1. Choose Healthier Foods and Drinks:

Eating healthier is a popular resolution choice for many people, but is more often in the pursuit of weight loss. Making healthier food and beverage choices are just as important for your oral health. Almonds and leafy green vegetables are excellent for promoting strong teeth as well as plenty of Vitamin D. Or, for the sweet tooths out there, simply cutting back on sugar can make a world of difference in protecting your teeth and avoiding cavities.

2. Consider Braces:

Braces certainly aren’t necessary for everybody, but consult with your dentist to see if it is a wise choice for you. Typically applied during adolescence, (but can be recommended at any age) braces are designed to straighten misaligned teeth in the effort to prevent future dental complications and create a more stunning smile. Teeth that do not erupt from the gums properly or teeth that shift over time can cause pain, discomfort, difficulty chewing, and even more susceptibility to cavities. If you are a prime candidate for braces, consider investing in them as one of your oral health resolutions.

3. Schedule Any Outstanding Dental Work:

Dental issues left unattended for long periods of time are a ticking time bomb. Any time you require extensive restorative dental work, it is advised to address it as soon as possible whether it is a new year or not. Ignoring a toothache, chipped tooth, or any other dental procedure that you have been putting off only serves to harm your long-term dental health.

4. Quit Smoking & Other Tobacco Products:

This is another example of a popular resolution for obvious reasons. In addition to the well-known damage that cigarettes and other tobacco products can do to the body, they can also cause negative cosmetic issues such as yellowed teeth and bad breath. More importantly, tobacco can create far worse complications in the mouth such as gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and even oral cancer which can become fatal. Since tobacco products are highly addictive, this type of resolution can be difficult to achieve. Surround yourself with a strong support system and take advantage of resources such as if you have trouble kicking the habit.

5. Basic Preventative Measures:

If you’re not brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, now is the time to start! The best way to avoid painful and sometimes expensive dental treatments in your later years is to begin a consistent oral regimen early on to minimize the chances of complications down the road. Simply brushing and flossing regularly can keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities, gum disease, and other oral health concerns.

6. Schedule Routine Dental Visits:

Unless it is necessary to have extensive treatments performed that could require multiple visits to your dentist, a quick exam and teeth cleaning are recommended twice a year. By keeping up with these regular preventative appointments, you can maintain a cleaner, healthier mouth while also being informed of the status of your overall oral health.

7. Update Your Dental Insurance (if applicable):

Insurance policies and benefits tend to expire starting January 1st. The very first thing on your oral health resolutions list should be to update your current dental insurance or purchase new coverage. This will ensure that you and your family’s dental needs are met and properly compensated not only for routine cleanings but in the event of a dental emergency. For those without dental coverage, have no fear! Norwich Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a cost-effective alternative for uninsured patients called the “Dental Savings Club”.

In addition to other resolutions that you might make for 2017, strongly consider the recommendations above to improve and maintain ideal oral health. Our office is always more than happy to help all of our patients on their journey towards stronger teeth and a more dazzling smile! If one of your goals is to obtain whiter, more vibrant teeth, learn more about our Teeth Whitening Treatments by Clicking Here!

Dental Emergency? Here’s What to Do

Dental Emergency

Knowing what needs to be done in an emergency situation can make all the difference between a minor, correctable injury and a serious problem. This applies to dental emergencies just as much as any other kind. Here are some helpful tips on what to do if a dental emergency arises.


Begin by rinsing out your mouth with warm water. Floss to remove any food or particles trapped between your teeth. If swelling is present, apply a cold compress to the swollen area. DO NOT apply aspirin or any other painkillers directly on the gum tissue as this can actually result in a chemical burn. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Chipped or broken teeth

If any pieces break loose, save them. Rinse with warm water, and rinse any broken or chipped pieces. Use gauze to staunch any bleeding, holding it in place for at least ten minutes, or until the bleeding stops. Hold a cold compress near the cheek, lips, or mouth if swelling is present and see your dentist as soon as you can.

Knocked out tooth

Find the tooth, making certain to only hold it by the crown, never the roots. Rinse it with warm water, but do not scrub away or detach any tissue clinging to the root. If you can, try to replace the tooth exactly as it was in your mouth. Never force a knocked out tooth into the gum. If you cannot place the tooth back in our mouth, put it in a cup of milk or water with a pinch of salt. Get to the dentist without delay, as knocked out teeth have the highest chances of being saved within one hour of being knocked out.

Something stuck between teeth

Try to gently remove the object with dental floss. If you can’t remove it this way, see your dentist. Never use a needle or pin to try to remove the object as it can cut your gums or scratch your teeth.

Lost filling

Stick a piece of sugar-free gum in the cavity where the filling has fallen out and see your dentist as soon as you can to replace the filling.


These infections of oral tissue can have serious long-term effects. Abscesses appear as white, pimple-like growths on the gums. Treat by rinsing with a mild saltwater solution several times a day, and see your dentist immediately.

Soft-tissue injuries

These include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips that result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, rinse your mouth with a salt water solution, hold a piece of gauze or a tea bag over the affected area for 10-20 minutes, use a cold compress on the affected area, and if the bleeding still doesn’t stop, see your dentist immediately, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Accidents can occur at a moment’s notice and we can’t always be prepared for them. That is why we want you to feel comfort knowing that Norwich Family & Cosmetic Dentistry will always be there in the event that a dental emergency arises! Learn more about our policy for emergency visits by clicking here.