How to handle a dental emergency

A dental emergency. It can happen to all of us and often at the most inconvenient time. If you experience a dental emergency, it’s crucial that you see your dentist as soon as you can. Read on for some common emergency scenarios to learn how to handle them.

Ongoing toothache

If you’re experiencing a toothache that won’t go away, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water and use floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or on your cheek and see your dentist as soon as possible.

Lost filling or crown

If your filling has fallen out, you can stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity to protect the tooth temporarily. See your dentist as soon as possible to avoid breaking the tooth.

Chipped or broken tooth

If you chip or break a tooth, be sure to save all pieces you can. Rinse your mouth using warm water and rinse the broken pieces of teeth. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek to keep swelling to a minimum. If you have any bleeding, put a piece of gauze on the area for 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Call your dentist to get in as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth

If your tooth has been knocked out by injury, hold it by the crown and rinse off the root with water to remove any dirt, but do not scrub it. Try to put the tooth back into place if possible, but if you can’t, put it in a small container of milk. See your dentist as quickly as possible. If your tooth is returned to its socket within one hour of being knocked out, it has its best chance of being saved.


Infections can occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between teeth and gums. It can feel like a painful pimple-like swelling on your gum, so it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible because of the serious health problems that can result from an abscess. While you wait to see the dentist, rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution several times a day to ease the pain and draw the pus to the surface of the gum.

If you have experienced trauma to the face or jaw, don’t wait to get into the dentist. You may need to call 911 or go to an emergency room for help.

If you experience a dental emergency, it’s crucial that you stay calm. Call 501-843-9561 for an appointment.

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