Emergencies are seen promptly. During office hours, please call us at (562) 597-2448 so we can be prepared when you arrive.
After hours, please call the office and leave a voicemail. Dr. Worden will automatically be paged. In the meantime, these are our recommendations for the following emergencies:


Give your child Tylenol or Motrin, provided your child is able to take these over-the-counter medications. These two medications can be alternated every three hours if needed. Call our office in the morning.

Note: Please do not place aspirin or any medication next to the tooth as it causes damage to the gums.

Loose Tooth

Baby Tooth

Only baby teeth that are ready to come out should be loose. (First tooth should become loose around 5 1/2 years old.) Expect some bleeding from the site of the tooth that was wiggled out for about 10 minutes. This can be controlled with gauze or a clean, damp washcloth.


If your child has fallen or has been hit in the face, do the following:

  1. If your child lost consciousness at any point, seek medical attention promptly to evaluate for potentially dangerous head trauma.
  2. With no loss of consciousness, attempt to control the bleeding with a washcloth or paper towel. If the bleeding is controlled and all of the teeth are in place, give your child some pain medication and call us in the morning for an exam and film.
  3. If the bleeding is not controlled after 20 minutes, teeth are displaced (child cannot close mouth because biting on teeth in the wrong place), or teeth are missing (baby teeth are not re-implanted because of the poor success rate and high risk of damage to the developing permanent tooth), please call the office at (562) 597-2448 and leave a detailed message in the after-hours emergency voicemail box. Dr. Worden will automatically be paged.

Permanent Tooth

If there is any chance that your child lost consciousness or you suspect a concussion, these conditions need to be ruled out by a medical professional before treating a loose permanent tooth. There may be bleeding from around the tooth, injury to the lips and gums or from inside the tooth, if there is fracture or "chip", or the tooth itself. Control the bleeding from lips and gums with gauze or a clean, damp washcloth with 10 minutes of pressure. Call the office so we can discuss the treatment needed.

Avulsed Tooth (Tooth Knocked Out)

Baby Tooth

Baby teeth stay out of the mouth if they have been knocked out. Sometimes the baby tooth is pushed all the way back up into the gums and appears to be missing. Control bleeding and call the office at (562) 597-2448 and leave a detailed message. Dr. Worden will be paged.

Permanent Tooth

Locate the tooth. Only touch the tooth by the end you would see in the mouth. It is the end of the tooth that appears more like a rectangle. The root is long and tapered. Gently rinse the tooth without touching the root. The best option is to place the tooth back in the socket, bite gently on a washcloth and seek treatment as soon as possible.

The second best option is to place the tooth in milk and seek treatment as soon as possible.
If you are out at the beach with no milk, place in an adult’s cheek to keep the tooth moist. A positive outcome depends on the tooth staying moist and the cells on the root not being damaged by being touched.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For 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. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.

Possible Broken Jaw

In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.

Cold or Canker Sores

Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist.