Dental Emergency

Dental first Aid

First Aid for Dental Emergencies

Whether you have a toothache, broken tooth, or gum infection, it’s important to know how to handle dental emergencies. While some issues can wait for an appointment with your dentist, there are times when immediate action is necessary. Learn how to relieve pain and reduce further damage in each of these dental emergencies.

Common dental emergencies and first aid practice

Here are some common dental emergencies and what you should do if you find yourself in one of these situations:


A toothache is the first sign of a cavity, infection, or other dental issues. The first step is to rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss in order to remove any food that may be stuck around the area of concern. Over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (paracetamol) can help reduce the pain. Avoid placing aspirin directly on your gums, as this can cause irritation and do more harm than good. If the toothache persists, contact your dentist and make an appointment to get it checked out as soon as possible.

Abscesses and gum infections

An abscess is a severe infection near a tooth’s root or between the teeth and gum. An abscess can cause swelling, pain, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures as well as bad breath. If you think you have an abscess it’s important to see a dentist immediately for proper treatment. To reduce the pain in the meantime, rinse with mouthwash to reduce any infection. You can also rinse your mouth with salt water or warm water and take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Loose or displaced teeth

If your tooth becomes loose, it’s very important to see your dentist straight away. While waiting for an appointment, avoid chewing on the affected tooth and rinse your mouth with warm salt water. You can also gently apply a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling and pain.

Tongue injuries

Injuries to your tongue can be painful and may cause bleeding. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water, apply a cold compress, and contact your dentist for treatment. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or you are concerned, visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

Broken, fractured or chipped teeth

If you have a broken, fractured or chipped tooth, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If the tooth is cracked, try to find the broken piece of tooth and bring it with you to your dentist appointment.

Soft tissue injury (e.g. lips, mouth, gum or jaw)

If you have an injury such as a cut on your lips, gums, or jaw, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few minutes, contact your dentist or consider an emergency department hospital visit.

Knocked-out teeth

If you have a tooth that has been knocked out, try to find the tooth and place it back in its socket straight away. If this is not possible, store it in a cup of milk instead. Then, make plans to get to the dentist as soon as possible—the sooner, the better the chance of saving your tooth.

Your dentist is the first call for immediate dental treatment

In an urgent dental situation, reach out to your local dentist right away. If the emergency is particularly severe, quickly head over to the nearest hospital’s emergency department. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency and what steps to take can help you reduce pain and discomfort and prevent further damage. With quick action and knowledge, you can get back to good health in no time.

How to prevent dental emergencies

Prevention is key when it comes to dental emergencies. Regular visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene can help you avoid dental emergency situations in the first place. Make sure to attend regular appointments for dental checkups, teeth cleaning and don’t forget the dentist’s advice to brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and try to eat a healthy diet to reduce your risk of dental emergency situations. By adhering to these preventative measures, your teeth will be strong and healthy while also avoiding painful and costly dental emergencies in the future.
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