What To Do In A Dental Emergency

Teeth are remarkably strong but they can, chip, crack or break. Injury can be caused by biting down on something hard, blunt force trauma to the face, falling down or cavities that weaken a tooth.

Getting to the dentist immediately after an injury occurs will increase your chances of saving the tooth or teeth. Accidents do happen but knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.

Types of Dental Emergencies:

Bitten Lip or Tongue

v    Gently rinse the area with water and apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling.

v    If bleeding does not stop in a short period of time or is excessive, go to your dentist or a hospital emergency room.

Broken Tooth:

v    Gently rinse the area with water.

v    Keep bleeding under control by applying (with pressure) a cool wet gauze to the gums.

v    Use a cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain.

v    Do not remove any fractured pieces – save all the pieces and put them in cold milk or water.

v    Call your dentist immediately.

v    If you can’t get to the dentist right away, cover the part of the tooth in your mouth with temporary dental cement which you can find at a drugstore.

Knocked Out Tooth:

v    To stop the bleeding, bite down on a clean wet wash cloth and hold it there.

v    Hold the tooth by the crown and gently rinse off the root of the tooth in water (avoid touching the root).

v    Do not scrub the tooth with soap or remove any attached tissue fragments.

v    If possible, try to put the tooth back into the socket but don’t force it in. If you’re unable to do so, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk or salt solution.

v    Don’t wrap the tooth in a paper towel.

v    Get to the dentist immediately.

Cracked (Fractured) Tooth:

v    Rinse your mouth well with warm water.

v    Apply pressure with a piece of gauze to the area that is bleeding for approximately 15 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If bleeding continues try using a tea bag with pressure on the area.

v    Use a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain.

v    Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

v    Call your dentist immediately.

Lost Crown or Filling:

v    Apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area with a cotton swab which will help alleviate the pain you may be experiencing.

v    If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so coat the inner surface with a dental cement, toothpaste or denture adhesive to help hold the crown in place.

v    See your dentist as soon as possible to avoid problems that may occur if the neighboring teeth move into the space where the crown was.

Objects Caught Between Teeth:

v    Use dental floss to gently and carefully remove the object.

v    Never use a sharp object to poke the object out.

v    See your dentist if you’re unable to remove the object.


v    Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out.

v    Floss your teeth and remove any debris caught between them.

v    Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to dull the ache.

v    Call your dentist if you have signs of infection such as swelling, pain when you bite, red gums or a foul-tasting discharge.


v    Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums.

v    Pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a “pus-pocket” which is very painful.

v    Rinse your mouth with a mild salt water solution.

v    Call your dentist immediately.

Preventative Methods:

v    Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities

v    Avoid chewing anything hard or sticky such as hard candy, popcorn kernels or ice

v    Don’t use your teeth to open packages or cut tape

v    Limit your daily intake of sugar

v    Brush your teeth at least twice a day

v    Floss at least once a day

v    Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash to fight plaque buildup in hard-to-reach places

v    Visit your dentist every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning.

If you have a dental emergency and are in or near these CT towns – Fairfield Stratford, Easton, Trumbull, Westport – contact Romano Dental at 203-372-0881 to seek treatmemt.

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