What to Do for These Common Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies can leave you in a lot of pain and some can cause permanent damage or require extensive treatment if ignored. However, there are times when you cannot see your dentist immediately, which is why you need to know how to handle some common dental emergencies at home before getting professional treatment.

How to handle common dental emergencies


Toothaches can be very painful. Fortunately, you can relieve the pain before going to see your dentist by thoroughly rinsing your mouth out with warm water and using dental floss to remove any food particles that are stuck between your teeth.

If the toothache causes swelling in your mouth, you can apply a cold compress on the outside of your mouth above the swelling to reduce it. You can also take aspirin or painkillers for the pain but never apply it to the gums surrounding the affected tooth because it can damage your gum tissues.

A broken or chipped tooth

If you break or chip your tooth, save any of the fallen pieces you can before rinsing your mouth and the recovered pieces of your tooth with warm water. If you are bleeding, put a piece of gauze on the affected area until the bleeding stops.

You can also apply a cold compress on the affected area to reduce swelling and relieve the pain before you get to see your dentist.

Loose filling

If your dental filling becomes loose and falls out, it exposes the nerves in your tooth and can be very painful. You can fix it temporarily by using sugar-free gum to cover the hole in your tooth or using dental cement, which can be found at pharmacies, to hold the filling in place until you see your dentist.

Lost dental crown

If you lose your dental crown, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get it taken care of as soon as possible. If you cannot see your dentist immediately and you are in a lot of pain, you can relieve the pain by applying clove oil to the sensitive area using a cotton swab.

If the crown is still intact, you can try to slip it back in place, but you should coat the inner surface of the crown with dental cement to hold it in place until you see your dentist. Do not use regular glue or super glue to hold it in place as it is poisonous and can damage your teeth.

Broken braces or wires

If you wear braces and a wire is sticking out of a bracket poking your cheek or tongue, you should use a pencil eraser head to move the wire to a more comfortable position so it does not continue to poke your cheek and tongue.

If you cannot move the wire to another position, you can cover the end that is sticking out with orthodontic wax or a piece of cotton-ball until you get to see your dentist.

The bottom line

If you have a common dental emergency, the first thing you should do is contact your dentist to schedule an appointment. If you cannot see your dentist immediately, these tips should help you handle most common dental emergencies until you get to see your dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Galleria Dental Arts at (703) 368-9777 for an appointment in our Manassas office.

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