Graphic illustration of a "tooth ambulance" for dental emergencies.

How to Handle Dental Emergencies

October 21, 2023 9:00 am

Dental emergencies can strike when you least expect them, causing pain and anxiety. Knowing how to handle dental emergencies can make all the difference in preserving your oral health. If you like to stay prepared, keep reading this blog to learn how to handle common dental emergencies.


A sudden toothache can be excruciating and often is a result of delaying dental care. Here’s what to do when experiencing a sudden or severe toothache:

  • Rinse: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any debris.
  • Floss: Carefully floss to ensure there’s no food or debris trapped between your teeth.
  • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help ease discomfort, but avoid placing aspirin directly on the gums, as it may cause burns.

If pain and discomfort persist, contact your local dentist.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If a tooth gets knocked out, you’ll need to act quickly. With an avulsed tooth, it’s best to:

  • Use Care: Hold the tooth by the crown (top) and avoid touching the roots.
  • Rinse: Gently rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty, but do not scrub it.
  • Reposition: If possible, try to reinsert the tooth into its socket. If not, place it in a container of milk or a saline solution.
  • Seek Immediate Care: Visit a dentist within 30 minutes for the best chance of saving the tooth.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can be painful and leave sharp edges. When dealing with a broken or chipped tooth:

  • Save Any Fragments: If possible, save any broken pieces.
  • Rinse: Rinse your mouth gently with warm water.
  • Pain Relief: Use over-the-counter pain relievers for discomfort.
  • Cover Sharp Edges: You can use dental wax or sugarless gum to cover sharp edges temporarily.

Lost Filling or Crown

A lost filling or crown can expose the underlying tooth, causing sensitivity and discomfort. If you have lost a filling, here’s what to do:

Soft Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the lips, cheeks, tongue, or gums can be painful. Whether from a sport or accidental fall, be sure to:

  • Rinse: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Pressure: Apply pressure with a clean cloth or gauze to control bleeding.
  • Cold Compress: Use a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Seek Dental Care: Visit a dentist if the soft tissue injury is impacting your oral health.

Emergency Dentistry in Oxford, MS

In any dental emergency, it’s crucial to seek professional dental care as soon as possible. At Dawkins Family Dental, our emergency dentist is prepared to treat a range of dental emergencies. Contact our office if you’re dealing with a dental emergency in Oxford, MS, and read our blog to learn more handy tips!

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