Dental Emergencies

Emergency Dental Care:  How to Deal with Your Dental Emergency

You don’t have to be a hockey player to experience a dental emergency. Knocked-out teeth, lost fillings and toothaches are just a few examples of conditions requiring emergency dental care. Don’t ignore injuries to your teeth or gums; read on to know how to handle the situation, and make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked-out Teeth

If you have knocked out your tooth, retrieve it and rinse it off with water. Rinse your mouth out with warm water as well. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue fragments, because if you leave them in place the tooth has a chance of being saved. If it is possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it is facing the correct direction! If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container of milk or in water with a pinch of salt. Knocked-out teeth have a higher chance of being saved if you see your dentist within the first few hours after the incident, so be sure to act quickly.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

If you have chipped or broken a tooth, you will need to save any pieces that you can. As with a knocked-out tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water and rinse the tooth pieces as well.  If there is bleeding, place a piece of gauze over the spot and leave it there until the bleeding stops. If you are in pain you can apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. This will also help to reduce any swelling. Call your dentist immediately.

Lost Fillings or Crowns

If you have lost a filling or a crown, call your dentist right away. To temporarily fill the gap for a lost filling, you can use sugarless gum or dental cement. Do not use sugar-filled gum, as this will be sure to cause pain. If you’ve lost a crown, make sure to find it and bring it with you to the dentist. Clove oil (found at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of the grocery store) can help to reduce pain and sensitivity in the affected area. If it is possible, you should try to reattach the crown to the tooth. Using over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive will help secure it until you can get to the dentist’s office.


Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water to make sure it is clean. Floss your teeth gently to remove any food or other debris that could be stuck in your teeth. You can take over-the-counter pain medication to help the pain, but be careful not to put it against your gums, as this could burn the gum tissue. See your dentist if the toothache does not go away.

Objects Between Teeth

Using dental floss, try to remove the object gently. If you are unable to dislodge the object, call your dentist right away. Do not attempt to remove the object using a pin or any other type of sharp or metal object. It is always important to handle your teeth and gums with care to avoid damaging or scratching them.



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