Dental Emergency

Being prepared for a dental emergency is no accident. Knowing what to do can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. It takes only a few minutes to learn the basics. Here are some tips…

Knocked out Tooth:
Hold the tooth by the crown, and rinse off the root of the tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If it’s possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put tooth in a cup of milk or water and get it to the dentist as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to take the tooth with you!

Broken Tooth:
Rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put cold compresses on your face to reduce swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.

Bitten Tongue or Lip:
Clean the area gently with a cloth, and apply cold compresses to keep swelling down. If bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room.

Objects Caught Between Teeth:
Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If you’re not successful, go to the dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Use dental floss to remove any food that may be trapped between tooth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissue. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Possible Broken Jaw:
Do not move the jaw. Secure the jaw by tying a handkerchief, necktie, or towel around the jaw and over the top of the head. If there is swelling, apply cold compresses. Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency room immediately.

If a dental emergency happens while you are traveling…

    • Look in the Yellow Pages or on the Web for “dentist” to find the state or local society phone number to get a referral.
    • Ask the hospital emergency room to recommend a dentist
    • If you are out of the country, contact the U.S. Embassy or ask hotel personnel to refer you to a dentist.