How To Handle A Dental Emergency

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The unexpected happens: you lose a tooth, you bite through your lip, your tooth chips. All of these circumstances and others count as dental emergencies. Try to see your dentist as soon as possible so they can remedy the emergency and follow these tips while you wait.

Lost Tooth

If you have lost a permanent tooth, then try to place it back in the socket. Only hold the tooth by the crown; if the root is dirty then clean it with milk or water for no more than 10 seconds. Once you replant the tooth, hold it in place by biting down on a gauze pad or clean cloth. If you cannot replant the tooth, then keep it moist by putting it in your mouth, milk, or a tooth preservation product.

Chipped Tooth

If you have chipped your tooth, try to save the pieces. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it and apply gauze to the places that are bleeding until they stop (for at least 10 minutes). Also hold a cold compress to the face to reduce swelling.


If a toothache is extreme, persistent, or accompanied with fever, swelling, red gums, or trouble swallowing and breathing, then it counts as a dental emergency. Rinse your mouth with warm water, gently floss teeth, and apply a cold compress on your face to reduce swelling. Do not place an aspirin on the tooth or gums because it can burn oral tissue.

Bitten Lip Or Tongue

Gently clean the area with water and apply a cold compress. If the lip and tongue won’t stop bleeding or are bitten through, then seek emergency care.

Objects Trapped In Mouth Or Teeth

Try to floss out any objects stuck in the teeth. If you cannot succeed, then see a dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Do not try using a sharp object to clear out the mouth yourself because it can damage the teeth and gums.

Broken Jaw

If you think your jaw if broken, then go to the emergency room immediately. Reduce swelling by gently applying a cold compress.