George W. Swanson, D.D.S ‚Äč

Common Problems and Emergency Info

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a preventable problem. While tooth decay might not endanger your life, it can negatively impact your quality of life. Whenever you eat, foods leave small particles behind. When those particles break down they begin to form acid which can then weaken the enamel. When the particles mix with the bacteria already in your mouth they form a sticky white film called plaque. If the plaque is not removed it can cause tooth decay.  

Sensitive Teeth

Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks. When this happens, the soft inside layer is exposed which can irritate nerve endings. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. However, if one tooth is more sensitive to hot or cold then any other, contact your dentist.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is usually painless and most people do not know they have the disease. Periodontal disease can cause inflammation, bone loss and tooth loss.

Gums in the early stage of disease, also known as gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and puffy. Gingivitis is usually reversible with thorough cleaning by your Hygienist followed by good home care.

As the disease progresses to periodontitis, the bone supporting the teeth becomes damaged and the tissue will start to pull away from the teeth causing pockets. If advanced periodontal disease is not treated teeth may become loose, fall out or need to be removed by your dentist.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Food particles left in the mouth break down and cause bad breath. While certain foods may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem. Daily brushing and flossing helps prevent the buildup of food, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Plaque can also build up on the tongue so it is important to brush your tongue.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small sores inside the mouth that are often re-occurring. These sores usually show up on the soft tissue on the inside of the mouth and generally last one or two weeks. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist.

Tooth Ache

See a dentist as soon as possible.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

If bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the area with warm water. Keep away from the tooth; do not bite on this area. Get immediate dental attention.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth. Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the top (the part you would see if looking in the mouth) and not the root end. Place tooth in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Possible Broken Jaw

Go immediately to an emergency room.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls out

Fold a piece of slightly moist gauze in half, then in half again and place it over moist side down on the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.

Denture tooth comes off of denture

Do not attempt to glue tooth back on as this may make it more difficult for Dr. Swanson to permanently place the tooth back in the denture. Save denture tooth and call your Dental office immediately.