6 dental emergencies and how to handle them

adobestock 55109747 1 Dental emergencies tend to happen at the most inconvenient time. It’s a natural tendency to panic when faced with unexpected damage to a tooth. Here are six of the more common dental emergencies and how to handle them.

Painful toothache

Toothaches can happen at any time, but if you have an ongoing pain that you know will need attention, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water and floss to remove any food debris. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek to help with swelling. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Lost filling, crown or other restoration

If you’ve lost a filling, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity to protect the tooth. If your crown has fallen out, you can put it back into place with toothpaste or a small amount of denture adhesive. You’ll want to get to your dentist as soon as you can to get your filling replaced or crown re-cemented.

Chipped or broken tooth

If this has happened, clean your mouth out by gently rinsing with warm water. Save all pieces of the tooth that you can. Apply a cold compress to the area if the fracture was caused by trauma. See your dentist as soon as you can to prevent the tooth from fracturing further.

Knocked-out tooth

A tooth that has been knocked out of its socket requires urgent attention. If you are able to get to a dentist quickly, there’s a good chance it can be reinserted and preserved by the dentist. Rinse off the tooth and gently place it back into its socket if you can, without forcing it into place. If you can’t put it back into the socket, place it in a cup of milk until you can see the dentist.


Oral abscesses and infections should be dealt with immediately. Abscesses appear as painful pimple-like swellings on the gum. Get to your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, rinse out your mouth with a mild salt water solution often to ease the pain and draw pus to the surface of the gum.

Significant trauma

If you have experienced trauma to the face or jaw, do not wait to get into the dentist. You may need to call 911 or go to an emergency room for urgent care.

It is important to stay calm when facing a dental emergency. We will do whatever we can to help you with the pain and fix your problem. Call our office at 713-425-1302.

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