vector graphic of man with severe tooth/jaw pain

Dental Emergencies

What to do if you have a dental emergency?

Ideally, when you’re experiencing any dental emergency, I want you to call my office so we can get you in quickly for treatment. Sometimes, situations arise when our office is closed, or you can’t get to us. It’s important to know what to do if you have a dental emergency.

Here are instructions for handling common dental emergencies.

Toothaches — Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Floss to remove food that may have become stuck between the teeth. Take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen according to package directions. Don’t place an aspirin against the gums because it can burn gum tissue. Seek dental treatment as soon as possible.

Abscess — An abscess is an infection that needs to be treated by the dentist. Rinse with warm salt water and take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain. Get dental care as soon as you can.

Broken Teeth — Rinse off any fractured pieces with warm water. If bleeding is present, take a piece of gauze and apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Using a cold pack near the area of the broken tooth can help prevent swelling and relieve pain. Get to a dentist as soon as possible.

Tooth Knocked Out — Hold the tooth by its crown and rinse the tooth root with water. Don’t scrub the root. Place the tooth back in the socket. If you’re not able to put in the socket, place it in a container with milk. Get to the dentist within an hour if possible. The sooner you get to the dentist the better the chances of saving the tooth.

Partially Dislodged Tooth — If your tooth becomes partially dislodged because of trauma, see the dentist immediately. Apply a cold pack close to the affected area and take a pain reliever according to package instructions. See the dentist as soon as you can.

Objects Stuck Between Teeth — Carefully, use dental floss to dislodge the object. If that doesn’t work, go to the dentist. Don’t try using sharp objects to get it out. You can cause damage to the gums and teeth.

Lost Filling or Crown — For a lost filling, place store-bought temporary filling material in the cavity. To put a crown back on, use temporary dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive to secure the crown. Never use super glue. See the dentist when possible.

If you experience an injury to your teeth or infection to the gums, please call my office. Putting it off may risk unnecessary damage. Although our office may be closed, we partner with other dentists in the area who, like Dr. Pearce and Dr. Murphy, are always available by phone to help you in a dental emergency. The best way to ward off dental emergencies is to practice good oral hygiene and get regular dental exams and cleanings. By seeing us regularly, we can identify and treat any issues early. Do you have any dental concerns? Contact my office to schedule an appointment.


Dr. Pearce