Things to do in a dental emergency

Emergency Dentist in Richmond TxA dental emergency can be a worrying experience. You might be in a lot of pain or worried that you will lose a tooth. Dental emergencies aren’t always to do with your teeth, either. You can damage the soft tissue in your mouth or you might have a wire from your braces bothering you. Most people would count any injury to your teeth or the inside of your mouth as a dental emergency. You should prioritize getting to a dentist as soon as possible. However, you also need to do something in the meantime. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to deal with the problem.

Stop the Bleeding

An injury to one of your teeth or the inside of your mouth can leave you bleeding. You can start by rinsing your mouth out with warm water. Although there’s no magic switch to turn off the bleeding, you can slow it down. It helps to use some gauze to place pressure on the wound. However, you should be careful of dislodging a loose tooth. The bleeding should eventually slow down and stop altogether. Hold a piece of gauze over the area for at least ten minutes and wait until the bleeding stops.

 Keep the Tooth

Sometimes your tooth has been chipped, broken or knocked out entirely. When this happens, it’s a good idea to save the tooth or any pieces that have broken off. Rinse them off under warm water so that they are clean and put them somewhere safe. You can wrap it in gauze or cloth and put it in milk to keep it moist. When you see your dentist, which should be as soon as possible, they may be able to reattach the tooth. Rinse your mouth out too, but don’t scrub anything. A cold compress on your jaw will help to keep down any swelling and relieve some pain too.

Treat a Toothache

A dental emergency doesn’t have to be an injury. You might be in terrible pain from a toothache, and desperate to have it seen to. Deal with your toothache by first rinsing out your mouth and using dental floss to dislodge anything that may be stuck. Use a cold compress to help with the pain by putting it on your cheek or jaw. If you take a painkiller, make sure it doesn’t touch your mouth near your aching tooth. It can burn the tissue of your gums and cause further damage. If the pain doesn’t go away, make an appointment to see your dentist.

Make a Temporary Filling

A filling falling out can feel like a disaster. As well as it possibly hurting, you can feel self-conscious about it. You’re sure to want to get it sorted as soon as you can. In the meantime, you can take action as a temporary measure. Make a filling to use for the time-being using a piece of sugar-free gum or dental cement. You can get dental cement from a pharmacy or even the medicines aisle in a supermarket. If you use gum, make sure it doesn’t have sugar in it, as it will hurt your tooth.

Fractures and Displaced Teeth

When you injure a tooth, it can fracture or move out of position, but not necessarily come out or break completely. If your tooth is displaced, you can try to push it back into position gently. Remember to be careful and don’t force it. Biting down gently once it’s in place can help to keep it there for a little longer. With a fractured tooth, there isn’t much you can do before visiting your dentist. Wash your mouth out, take a painkiller and use an ice pack to reduce swelling.

Deal with Braces and Wires

Wearing braces can be a pain, especially when a wire starts causing you trouble. If something is sticking out, it can cause discomfort and be an annoyance. If a wire in your braces is bothering you, don’t try to cut it down yourself. It can be dangerous if you accidentally swallow it or even breathe it in. If you can, try to reposition it, so it’s no longer poking you. If your braces are loose, you can use orthodontic wax to secure them temporarily. Seeing your orthodontist will help you fix any issues more permanently.

Take Something for Pain

Many dental emergencies can leave you in pain. Using a cold compress is one way to relieve it, by placing it on the outside of your mouth. However, you may also wish to take a painkiller to help relieve any soreness. If you do take something, you should use ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Advil and Tylenol). You should avoid using aspirin if you have a bleeding wound, however. Aspirin is an anticoagulant and can make you bleed more.

Look After Tissue Injuries

Sometimes your teeth are fine, but you have an injury to the soft tissue in your mouth. Luckily, dentists are there to care for your whole mouth. Before you make a trip to see your dentist, stop any bleeding by applying pressure with a piece of gauze. Clean the wound with warm water to prevent any infections. Minor injuries may heal on their own, but there are other occasions when you should see a dentist or even go to the emergency room.

Emergency Appointments

When you’ve done everything you can at home, you need to make an appointment to see a dentist. In an emergency, you don’t want to have to wait any longer than necessary. When it’s urgent, you can make a same-day appointment or use an emergency walk-in service to get treatment as soon as possible. A toothache may go within a day or two, but other problems need to be dealt with right away. If you break or lose a tooth, you should call your dentist ASAP. At your emergency appointment, your dentist can take a look at the problem and usually treat it on the same day.


Call our office today if you feel you have a dental emergency and if you want to be prepared for dental emergencies, you can put a kit together. Include some gauze, dental cement and some painkillers in case you need them.