How to Handle a Dental Emergency

Posted on: 25 October 2017

Excellent oral health is all about being proactive. However, no one is ever prepared for an accident. A dental emergency can be frightening and agonising. Sometimes, such an accident may happen after working hours or on a Sunday. In such an instance, your best chances are with an after hours dentist. However, it is recommended that you know how to handle such an emergency when it happens. This way you can control the bleeding if there is any and even reduce the pain. The following are ideas on what to do when faced with a dental emergency.


When you have a toothache, boil some warm water and use it to rinse your mouth. If you have any lodged food, use dental floss to remove it. Apply a cold press on your cheek adjacent to the swelling if you have any. Some people put painkillers near the hurting tooth or against the gum. This is not an acceptable practice because it may burn your gum tissue. 

Chipped or broken tooth

If you break your tooth, try to save the pieces if you can and rinse them. Use warm water to clean your mouth as well. If you are bleeding, apply gauze to the region until the bleeding stops. Pressing something cold near the broken tooth will relieve some pain and also lessen the swelling as you wait to see the dentist.

Knocked-out tooth

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, retrieve it by holding the crown and rinse it with clean water. Refrain from scrubbing off any attached tissue, and if possible try returning it into its socket. If you can't put it back, get a small container with milk or salted water and leave it there. If you want to save that tooth, you should see your dentist immediately. If business hours have elapsed, look for the nearest after hours dentist. If your knocked-out tooth is returned to its socket quickly, there are high chances that it will be saved.

Lost Filling or Crown

Apart from being excruciating, losing a crown or a filling can weaken your tooth considerably. When you lose a filling, you can stick sugarless chewing gum in the cavity as a temporary measure. Using gum with sugar will increase the pain. If the crown falls off, apply clove oil to the sensitive region. You can also try to stick the crown back in place using toothpaste or any other dental cement. However, your best bet would be to rush to the dentist.

You need to be swift in handling dental emergencies. After containing the situation, always ensure that you visit the dentist to avoid further complications.