• Your Expert Guide to Handling Dental Emergencies

    on Feb 26th, 2018

When you’re faced with a dental emergency, seek care from an expert dentist like those at ReHoBoth Health Networks. The action you take until you get professional help often means the difference between saving a tooth and losing it forever.  

Follow this expert guide for each type of accident until you can get to a dentist.

Knocked out tooth

A permanent tooth that’s been knocked out in an accident or sports injury needs to stay moist at all times. Ideally, you’ll brush any dirt off the tooth gently, handling it as little as possible. You want to keep the root intact and hold it back in its socket until you reach the dentist. To keep it in place, you can bite down on a piece of moist gauze or a wet tea bag. Do not remove any of the root. If you can’t put it in its original socket, hold it in your mouth between your cheek and gum, or place it in a cup of milk as you travel to get care.

If you can get treatment within an hour of the accident, you have the best chance of saving the tooth.

Partially dislodged tooth

Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth where the affected tooth is located and get to the office right away for the best chance of saving the tooth.

Cracked tooth

A cracked tooth can cause pain and swelling. You need care as soon as possible to prevent further damage. But, use cold compresses against your face to reduce swelling and rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and reduce the amount of bacteria that infiltrates the crack.

Chipped tooth

A minor chip can usually wait for the next available appointment, but call the office if you have pain or concerns. If you’re bleeding, swelling, or have a lot of pain, use a cold compress to relieve these symptoms. Save any pieces of your tooth that you can find as they may be repairable.


Toothaches often come on suddenly. Floss the area extremely well in case a bit of food is caught and causing the issue. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply ice to your face to reduce pain. Avoid putting a painkiller or aspirin at the site of pain – these agents can burn the gums.

Objects stuck in mouth

If you have an object stuck between your teeth, try to use floss to remove it. Do not use another pointed tool to try and pry it out, however, as you might do more damage.

Lost filling or crown

You need to see a dentist right away, but you can temporarily fill the space with a small bit of sugar-free gum. Sugared gum causes pain and encourages the spread of bacteria. Alternatively, use over-the-counter dental cement.

Save the crown and bring it to your dentist as soon as you can get in for an appointment. If you have pain in the meantime, apply a dab of clove oil to the sensitive tooth. You can temporarily hold the crown in place with a bit of toothpaste or denture adhesive.

Broken brackets or wires

Gently bend the wires of your braces back into place and temporarily cover them with dental wax. Make an appointment to see your orthodontist as soon as possible to repair the braces so you avoid irritation.


An abscess may feel and look like a pimple-sized swelling on your gum that is intensely painful. It may cause associated swelling the surrounding soft tissue. An abscess indicates a serious condition and you need to see a dentist right away. To alleviate the immediate pain, rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with a pinch of table salt.

Soft tissue injury

If you’ve bitten your cheek or tongue, or have another injury to the soft tissue in your mouth, you may experience quite a bit of bleeding. Rinse your mouth with salt water and apply moist gauze to the injured site for 15 to 20 minutes; the pressure can slow bleeding.

If the bleeding won’t stop, get to your dentist as soon as possible. You may have some associated swelling as a result of the injury too. Cold compresses help alleviate the pain and swelling.

Whenever you have a dental emergency, it’s best to call the office and come in as soon as possible.

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ReHoBoth Health Network & Family Dentistry
9160 W Farm to Market Rd 78, Suite 1B
Converse, TX 78109
Phone: 210-672-4610
Fax: 210-334-0919
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