Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Dental emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. From severe toothaches and broken teeth to infections and even knocked-out teeth, knowing how to manage these situations can make a difference. So, let’s dive into some common dental emergencies and learn how to handle them until you can see a dentist.


Toothaches can be excruciating, but you can do a few things to relieve the discomfort. First, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and floss around the affected tooth. If the pain persists, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. 

However, if the toothache is severe, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible, as it may indicate a more significant issue like an infection or an abscess.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

If you chip or break your tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to help reduce swelling. Collect any broken tooth fragments and schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If your tooth gets knocked out, handle it carefully by holding the crown (the part you chew on) and avoid touching the roots. Gently rinse the tooth with water but never scrub or remove any tissue fragments. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket, but don’t force it. 

If you can’t replace it, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a glass of milk or your mouth between your cheek and gums. Seek urgent dental care in Columbus, GA, as soon as possible—the chance of saving the tooth decreases significantly after 30 minutes.

Lost Filling or Crown

If your filling or crown falls out, clean the affected area and apply a temporary dental adhesive or toothpaste to help hold the crown in place until you can see your dentist. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible to have the restoration repaired or replaced.

Abscess or Infection

Dental abscesses and infections are quite painful and should be treated immediately. Swelling, pus, or a pimple-like bump on your gums are common signs of an infection. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and seek high quality dental care immediately.

Soft Tissue Injuries

If you bite your tongue, cheek, or lip or suffer a soft tissue injury, clean the area with warm water and apply a cold compress to minimize swelling. If bleeding is persistent, apply gentle pressure with a gauze or a clean cloth. Seek medical assistance if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few minutes or the injury is severe.

Dental Extraction Complications

Some pain and swelling are typical after tooth extraction in Southeastern Dental Center. However, if severe pain, bleeding, or swelling persists after a day or two, contact your dentist immediately, as these may be signs of complications.

Damaged Dentures

If your dentures break or crack, stop using them and contact your dentist. Never attempt to repair dentures yourself, as this can cause further damage or an improper fit.

The Takeaway

Dental emergencies can be uncomfortable and even scary. Knowing how to handle these situations and when to seek professional help is essential. Remember that maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is crucial for preventing dental emergencies in the first place. By following these guidelines and seeking high-quality dental care, you can ensure your teeth stay healthy and strong for a lifetime.

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