When You Need Help Quickly: Dealing With Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies can be distressing, but it's important to stay calm and take appropriate action. Read on for some common dental emergencies and how to cope with them.


Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the affected tooth to remove any debris. If the pain persists, avoid placing aspirin on the tooth as it may damage the gum tissue. Instead, contact a dentist for an appointment.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Hold the tooth by the crown (the visible part) and rinse it gently with water, being careful not to remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, place the tooth back into its socket. If not, place the tooth in a container of milk or a tooth preservation solution and seek dental care immediately. Time is crucial for a successful reattachment.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. If there is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. Use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth to minimize swelling. Visit a dentist as soon as possible to evaluate and treat the tooth.

Lost Filling or Crown

If a filling or crown falls out, try to keep it safe and visit a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can apply dental cement or temporary dental filling material (available at pharmacies) to protect the tooth until you can see a dentist.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a painful and potentially serious infection that usually forms at the root of a tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to help reduce the pain and draw out any pus. Contact a dentist immediately for proper treatment, as an abscessed tooth requires professional care.

Soft Tissue Injuries

If you have a cut, tear, or puncture to your lips, cheeks, tongue, or gums, gently rinse your mouth with salt water and apply pressure with a clean cloth or gauze to stop any bleeding. If the bleeding doesn't subside or the injury is severe, seek immediate dental or medical attention.

In any dental emergency, it is crucial to contact a dentist office as soon as possible. They can provide a proper diagnosis, treatment, and relief from pain or discomfort. If the emergency occurs outside regular office hours, many dental practices have emergency contact numbers or can direct you to an emergency dental service in your area. Contact your dentist to find out more.