Dental Emergencies

An image of a young child with his front tooth missing. Dental injuries happen, knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

What should I do if I have a toothache?

  • If swelling is present place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek in the area of the toothache.
  • Do not use heat or place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum area.
  • See your dentist as soon as possible.

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What should I do if I have a broken tooth?

  • If there is facial trauma apply a cold compress to the face to keep swelling down.
  • Call your dentist immediately.

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What should I do if I knock out a permanent tooth?

  • Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown, which is the part of the tooth that is normally exposed.
  • Do not touch the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with water but do not scrub.
  • If possible, put the tooth back in place. If this is not possible place the tooth in a container of milk or tuck inside the cheek.
  • Go to your dentist or emergency department immediately.

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What should I do if a baby tooth is knocked out?

  • Call your dentist for specific advice.

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What should I do if I have bitten my tongue or lip?

  • Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean tissue or cloth.
  • Apply a cold compress if there is swelling.
  • If the bleeding cannot be controlled, seek medical attention.

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What should I do if I get an object wedged between my teeth?

  • Do not try to remove any object with a pointed or sharp instrument.
  • Try to remove the object carefully with dental floss.
  • If you cannot remove the object, go to your dentist.

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What should I do if I think I have a fractured jaw?

  • Prevent the jaw from moving by wrapping a towel or necktie under the chin and tying it at the top of the head.
  • If swelling is present, a cold compress may be applied. Go to the emergency department immediately.

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What can I do for a lost filling?

  • See your dentist as soon as possible.

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