Dental Emergencies

Knocked-out tooth

Baby tooth

  • If a tooth is completely out, do not try to put it back in the tooth socket.
  • Call the office. It is best to be seen within the first thirty minutes.
  • Place the tooth in milk and bring the tooth and any tooth pieces with you.

Adult tooth

Unlike a baby tooth that is knocked out, an adult tooth should be put back in its socket if possible.

  • Hold the tooth by the top and not the root.
  • If it looks dirty, rinse the tooth lightly with water. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any attached bits of tissue.
  • Try to gently insert the tooth into its socket and then hold it there with a clean washcloth or gauze. If this isn’t possible, try these other options in this order:
  1. See if you can hold the tooth under the tongue or between the cheek and gums.
  2. If you are unable to do this, place the tooth in a container with milk.
  3. If milk is not available, put the tooth in a diluted solution of ¼ teaspoon of salt to 4 ounces of water.
  4. Call the office.

Broken or cracked tooth

  1. Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean.
  2. Wrap the broken portion of the tooth in wet gauze or a wet towel.
  3. Place an ice pack or a washcloth with ice on the face to reduce swelling.
  4. Call the office and bring the broken tooth with you to your visit.

Bitten cheek, tongue, or lip

  1. Clean the area gently.
  2. Place an ice pack or a washcloth with ice over the area to keep swelling down. Place a teabag (non-herbal) in the area to clot the blood (if there is any bleeding).
  3. If there is a lot of bleeding, and if it does not stop after 1 hour, call the office, or your physician, or go to an urgent care center.

Object caught between teeth

  1. Do not remove object with a sharp or pointed instrument.
  2. Gently try to remove the object with dental floss.
  3. If floss does not work, call the office.

Toothache and/or swollen face

  • Swelling of the face can be a sign of serious infection.
  • If your face is swollen, call the office.

Possible broken jaw

  • Apply a cold compress to control swelling.
  • Call the office or go to an urgent care center right away.