dental emergencies

Ask Dr. Michael McCarthy, Dr. Cristen Lindal: If I have braces, do I still need a dental checkup every 6 months?

January 23rd, 2012

Thanks for the question! Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit our office regularly. When you're wearing braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush normally can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis and even gum disease. Believe it or not, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Our staff at the office of Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Lindal will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while you're undergoing orthodontic treatment.

If it has been more than six months since your last visit to our Camarillo office, please give us a call!

Emergency care with Drs. McCarthy and Lindal

August 8th, 2011


At the office of Dr. Michael McCarthy, we know dental emergencies are never convenient or timely. If you are a patient of record, we are committed to your dental health and are more than willing to see you.

We are here to help you, any time, any day, and when your dental health is at risk, we’ll do everything we can to make sure that you’re treated as soon as possible. While dental emergencies are rare, we know they can happen at any moment, and it’s important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what.

Common dental emergencies include:

• A bitten lip or tongue
• Broken or cracked tooth/teeth
• Broken jaw
• Permanent tooth that has been knocked out
• Object caught between teeth
• Severe toothache

If you have a dental emergency after regular office hours, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the emergency prompts to contact Dr. Shanahan. We proudly serve patients from Camarillo, Thousand Oaks and Oxnard, among other surrounding communities.

We hope you’re all enjoying your summer.

Are you wearing your mouthguard this summer?

August 1st, 2011


With summer in full force, our team at the office of Dr. Michael McCarthy thought today would be a great time to remind all our young athletes to take care of their mouth while participating in sports – especially contact sports – this summer.

Common dental injuries in sports during the summer include:

• Knocked out tooth/teeth
• Chipped tooth/teeth
• Displaced teeth

One of the best, and most convenient, ways to prevent injury to your teeth and mouth while playing sports is to wear a mouthguard. There are several types of mouthguards to choose from, and Dr. McCarthy, as well as Dr. Cristen Lindal, can help you choose the best one for your particular needs.

Only by using a mouth guard can people avoid serious sports injuries. The next time you’re in for a visit at our Camarillo dental office, we encourage you to ask us for a mouth guard!

What should you do if you have an emergency this summer?

July 19th, 2011


Dr. Michael McCarthy, Dr. Cristen Lindal and our team know all too well that summer is a season many patients experience dental emergencies - especially while they're on vacation. From a toothache to a chipped tooth to a lost filling, summer brings with it a greater chance of people damaging their teeth when they're out and about. In many cases, there are ways you can handle these occurrences at home before you follow up with a visit at our Camarillo dental office. In some instances a few minutes of attention will be all you need to effectively address a true dental emergency. Here are some common situations patients come across.

Toothaches: Rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove any food lodged in your teeth. A pain reliever such as aspirin may be taken to dull the pain. If swelling appears, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek. If your toothache is severe, or lasts longer than one day, schedule an appointment to see us as soon as possible.

Chipped/Broken Teeth: Save any pieces you can. Use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth to relieve pain and swelling, and apply gauze to the area for at least ten minutes if there is bleeding. Visit our office as soon as you can.

Objects Stuck in Teeth: Try flossing to carefully and gently remove the object. Never use a sharp or hard item to remove objects in your teeth; you risk injuring your gums and scratching your teeth. If you are unable to remove the object, visit our office.

Lost Filling: Sugarless gum and over-the-counter dental cement can work as temporary fillings, but be sure to make an appointment with us as soon as you can to replace a filling!

Lost Crown: If you cannot make it in to see us right away, apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area of the tooth with a cotton swab. Then slip the crown back on the tooth using dental cement or denture adhesive to hold it in place. Don’t use any kind of glue on your teeth. Be sure to make an appointment to see us to properly fix the crown as soon as possible.

Abscess: An abscess is a painful pimple-like swelling that usually occurs on your gums near the root of a tooth. Abscesses are caused by infection and can cause serious oral health problems, so come see us right away. In the meantime, try to ease the pain by rinsing your mouth with a saltwater solution of ½ teaspoon salt to 8 ounces of water.

Mouth Injuries: Injuries to the soft-tissue of the mouth such as the cheeks, tongue, and gums often result in bleeding. To stop the bleeding first rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution. Then use a moistened piece of gauze to apply pressure to the site for 15-20 minutes. Holding a cold compress to the outside of the affected area will help ease pain and control bleeding and swelling. If the bleeding persists see us immediately or visit a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply gauze until you are treated.

Dr. McCarthy, Dr. Lindal and team will always tell you ignoring any dental problem can quickly increase the risk of permanent damage and the need for more treatment in the future. If you have any concerns, and especially if you experience a persistent dental issue, please give us a call so we can assist you and prevent an emergency.

Didn't see a question you'd like an answer to? Please call us or ask on our Facebook page! For a full list of medical emergencies and how to deal with them, please visit the American Dental Association.