Common Dental Emergencies
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Chipped or broken teeth can happen suddenly from an injury, or as a result of wear over time, like from grinding your teeth. A small break may be able to be repaired easily with a white filling material. But a more serious break could require a root canal and crown.
Call your dentist as soon as possible to have your broken tooth assessed.
Fillings can occasionally fall out, for example due to:
- Decay around the filling
- Biting into hard foods
- Grinding your teeth
- Trauma to the tooth
Book an appointment with your dentist immediately. In the meantime, you can cover the tooth with sugar-free gum or a temporary dental filling material, and avoid chewing in the area.
Book an appointment with your dentist and explain your toothache symptoms. In the meantime, you can take over-the-counter pain medication and apply an ice pack on your face for some relief. Don’t use heating pads or any other heat source, as this will cause further discomfort.
If your tooth is knocked out, you need to act immediately for the best chance of it being able to be implanted again. After two hours, the chances are much lower of a successful rooting. If your dentist isn’t available immediately, head straight to an emergency room.
In the meantime, take the following immediate steps for a knocked-out tooth:
- Don’t handle your tooth by the root
- Don’t rub or scrape the tooth to clean it; if it has no debris on it, rinse for no more than 10 seconds in a bowl of warm water
- Try to put your tooth back in its socket. If it doesn’t go all the way, bite gently on gauze or paper towel to help hold it in place
- If you can’t replace your tooth, place it in cold milk, or hold it between your gums and cheek while you seek care
Something Stuck in Your Teet
Try using dental floss to gently dislodge the object stuck between your teeth. Don’t use a sharp object like a pin, as this can damage your teeth. Call your dentist if you’re unable to dislodge the item with floss.
Bleeding Tongue or Lip
With clean hands, use a clean cloth to press down on the site of bleeding for 15 minutes. Change out the cloth if necessary. If bleeding doesn’t slow after 15 minutes, seek further medical attention.
For a swollen lip, use an ice pack to help reduce swelling. Avoid exercise in the 2 to 3 days following the bleeding, as an increased heart rate could restart the bleeding.