Top dental emergencies and how to handle them

Dental emergencies can strike unexpectedly, causing discomfort and anxiety. Knowing how to handle common dental emergencies is crucial to mitigate pain, prevent further damage, and seek timely professional help. In this blog, we'll explore some of the top dental emergencies and provide guidance on how to manage them effectively.


A toothache is a common dental woe and can result from various issues, including cavities, infections, or gum disease. To manage a toothache:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Gently floss to ensure there's no debris causing irritation.
  • Use a cold compress on the outside of the affected area to reduce swelling.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can provide temporary relief, but it's crucial to consult a dentist for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention to increase the chances of successful re-implantation. Here's what to do:

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown, avoiding touching the roots.
  • Rinse the tooth gently with water if it's dirty, but do not scrub or use soap.
  • Try to reinsert the tooth into its socket. If this isn't possible, place it in a container of milk or your saliva to keep it moist.
  • Contact your dentist immediately for emergency care.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Accidents can lead to broken or chipped teeth, causing pain and potential complications. Follow these steps:

  • Save any broken or chipped pieces.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling.
  • See your dentist as soon as possible for proper evaluation and treatment.

Lost Filling or Crown

Losing a filling or crown can expose the sensitive inner layers of the tooth, leading to pain and discomfort. To manage this situation:

  • Retrieve the filling or crown if possible.
  • Clean the affected area and the recovered piece.
  • Use dental cement, available at most pharmacies, to temporarily reattach the crown or filling.
  • Schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly to address the issue permanently.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a severe infection characterized by a pus-filled sac near the tooth's root. This condition requires immediate attention to prevent the infection from spreading. Here's what to do:

  • Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution.
  • Use a cold compress to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
  • Seek emergency dental care as soon as possible to drain the abscess and receive appropriate antibiotics.

Lost Orthodontic Appliance

For those with braces or other orthodontic appliances, a broken or lost piece can be concerning. If a wire or bracket is causing discomfort:

  • Use orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges.
  • If a wire is sticking out, attempt to gently push it back into place using a pencil eraser or cotton swab.
  • Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist for a professional assessment and repair.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the lips, gums, cheeks, or tongue can occur due to accidents or trauma. To manage soft tissue injuries:

  • Clean the affected area gently with warm water.
  • Use a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • If bleeding persists, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth.
  • Seek immediate dental attention for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

Contact Us Today!

Being prepared to handle dental emergencies is essential for maintaining oral health and preventing further complications. While these tips can offer temporary relief, it's crucial to seek professional dental care promptly for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment. Keep your dentist's contact information readily available, and if you experience a dental emergency, don't hesitate to reach out for timely assistance. Remember, swift action can make a significant difference in preserving your oral health and minimizing the impact of dental emergencies.