Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do When They Occur

Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do When They Occur

Dental emergencies can be distressing and often occur unexpectedly. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can significantly prevent further complications and relieve pain promptly.

Knocked-Out Tooth (Avulsed Tooth):

A knocked-out tooth is a common dental emergency, often caused by accidents, sports injuries, or falls. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, acting quickly to increase the chances of successful re-implantation is essential.

What to do:

– Handle the tooth by the crown (the part that is usually visible in the mouth) and avoid touching the root.

– Rinse the tooth gently with milk or saline solution to remove any dirt or debris. Do not scrub or use soap or any cleaning agent.

– If possible, carefully reinsert the tooth into the socket. Hold the tooth in place by gently biting down on a clean cloth or gauze.

– If reinsertion is impossible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a milk container or the person’s saliva. Alternatively, use a tooth preservation kit at some drugstores or have the person hold the tooth inside their mouth, between the cheek and gum.

– Seek immediate dental care. Time is of the essence, and the chances of saving the tooth decrease significantly with each passing minute.

Chipped or Fractured Tooth:

A chipped or fractured tooth can cause pain and sensitivity, depending on the extent of the damage. Left untreated can lead to further complications, such as infection.

What to do:

– Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area around the chipped or fractured tooth.

– If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth to stop it.

– Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

– Save any broken tooth fragments if possible, as the dentist may be able to bond them back to the tooth.

– Seek dental care as soon as possible to assess the extent of the damage and determine the appropriate treatment.



Toothaches can have various causes, such as tooth decay, dental abscess, gum disease, or a damaged filling.

What to do:

– Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area around the affected tooth.

– Use dental floss to remove any food particles trapped between teeth gently.

– Avoid placing aspirin or any other painkiller directly on the gum or tooth, as it may cause tissue damage.

– Apply a cold compress to the outside of the cheek to reduce swelling and ease pain.

Schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible to diagnose the cause of the toothache and provide appropriate treatment.

Lost Dental Filling or Crown:

A lost dental filling or crown can cause sensitivity and discomfort. It’s essential to seek dental care promptly to protect the exposed tooth structure.

What to do:

– If a filling is lost, try to keep the affected tooth clean and avoid chewing on that side.

– If a crown falls off, try to keep it in a safe place and avoid using over-the-counter dental cement to reattach it, as it may cause damage.

– Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have the filling or crown replaced.

Abscessed Tooth:

An abscessed tooth is a serious dental emergency and occurs when an infection reaches the tooth’s root or the space between the tooth and gum.

What to do:

– Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day to help reduce swelling and draw out the infection.

– Use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek to help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.

– Avoid placing heat or any warm compress directly on the affected area, as it may worsen the infection.

– Seek immediate dental care. An abscessed tooth requires professional treatment, including draining the abscess, root canal therapy, or tooth extraction.

  1. Broken Jaw:

A broken jaw is a severe dental emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

What to do:

– Keep the jaw immobilized by using a scarf, necktie, or towel tied around the head and jaw.

– Apply a cold compress to the affected area to help reduce swelling and provide pain relief.

– Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately for medical assistance.

Object Stuck Between Teeth:

When an object gets stuck between teeth, it can be uncomfortable and lead to irritation and swelling of the gums.

What to do:

– Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. Be cautious not to force it or push it deeper between the teeth.

– If flossing is unsuccessful, avoid using sharp or pointed objects to dislodge the object, as it may cause injury or damage to the gums or teeth.

– Schedule an appointment with a dentist to have the object safely removed.

In any dental emergency, seeking a professional dentist in Dallas, TX  as soon as possible is crucial. If you experience a dental emergency after regular office hours, contact an emergency dental clinic or the nearest emergency room for immediate assistance. 

Additionally, staying prepared by having a dental first aid kit with essentials like gauze, dental floss, and a small container can be beneficial in managing dental emergencies until professional help is available.

Quick action and professional care are key to minimizing pain after Dental Implant Surgery, preventing complications, and ensuring the best possible outcome for any dental emergency.

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