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Dental Emergencies

Although not spoken about often, dental emergencies occur more often than we expect. They can happen at any time of day so it is useful to know what to do in these situations. Dental emergencies can range from sudden toothaches to having a tooth knocked out due to an accident. Knowledge of how to respond can help reduce some of the stress.

Most mouth related injuries should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you see a dentist the better, as it could make every difference in saving a tooth. In the meantime, here are some tips for the most common dental emergencies.


Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean out the area. If swelling occurs, place a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. For immediate relief, ask your dentist or pharmacist for some over-the-counter pain medication. However, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to treat the cause of the toothache.

Knocked-out tooth:

Although a stressful situation, it is important to try to stay calm. When handling the fallen tooth, ensure that you are touching the top (crown) and not the root without rubbing any tissue fragments away. If possible, rinse the tooth in milk or some saliva to remove any dirt. Then try gently hold it in place in the socket. If unable to replant, keep the tooth moist by submerging it in milk or saliva (not water), wrapping it in cling wrap or placing it in your mouth next to the cheek. Seeing a dentist as quickly as possible is vital in saving the tooth, so book in an appointment immediately.

Chipped/cracked tooth:

First clean the area of the mouth with warm water. If swelling occurs use a cold compress on the cheek. It is important to book in to see a dentist as it is only then that the severity of the condition can be assessed. Through this it can be understood if the tooth requires immediate surgery or not.

While these are some of the most common dental emergencies there are many others which still require treatment from your dentist. For further tips and information, ask one of our dentists at your next appointment. It is also useful to be aware of emergency dental clinics near you for emergencies that may occur outside of clinic hours.

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