Dental Emergencies

Here are some tips to help you deal with Dental Emergencies such as

  • Loose or broken teeth
  • Knocked out teeth
  • Bitten Tongue or Lip
  • Objects Caught Between the Teeth
  •  Toothache

After following the instructions here, you should get to your dentist or emergency room at your local hospital as soon as possible and have a doctor evaluate the injuries. Dental Emergencies should be treated as soon as possible

Dental Emergencies Loose or broken teeth

There are many sports in which trauma can occur. Sports such as cricket, rugby, football and others can result in a blow to the face that may cause your tooth or teeth to become loose. Wearing mouth-guards during sport can help prevent such injury.

If you have suffered from tooth injury, the first thing to do is to check the tooth for signs of fracture or broken pieces. If there are broken pieces from the tooth, find them and save them. Gently rinse off any debris or dirt with water. Do not at any time scrub the pieces of the tooth with any form of brush or abrasive material. Simply rinse the pieces and place them in either water, milk, or between your cheeks and gums. The idea here is that you want the fragment of tooth to not dry out. By keeping the fragment moist as described above, you will have a greater chance that your dentist will be able to successfully reattach the piece to your tooth.

Now check the portion of your tooth that is still in your mouth. If it is loose, do not try to pull the tooth out. Quickly check the area around the tooth for any fractured pieces of bone. Gently rinse the area with water. Take yourself and any pieces of the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible.

Dental Emergencies Knocked out teeth

If you have a tooth knocked out from trauma, there are several things that you can do to increase the chance of saving the tooth.

First and foremost, find the tooth. Once you find the tooth, do not touch the root of the tooth. The root is the long part that stays in the bone. Hold the tooth by the crown, the portion that is visible in the mouth. Inspect the tooth and make sure that there is no debris or dirt on the tooth. If visible debris is present, gently rinse with either warm water (not to hot) or milk. Do not at any time scrub the tooth with any sort of brush, as this will cause irreversible damage to the tooth.

If you can place the tooth back in the socket, place it there and get to your dentist or emergency room immediately. If unable to place the tooth back, place the tooth in a glass of milk or water. Another option is to place the tooth between your cheek and gums. This will prevent the tooth from drying out and will greatly increase the chances that your dentist can save the tooth. Studies and research have shown that the sooner you can get to the dentist, the better chance you have for saving the tooth. The main factor for saving your tooth is to keep it moist and not let it dry out. This is why keeping the tooth in either milk or between your cheek is important.

Dental Emergencies Bitten Tongue or Lip

Clean the area gently with a cloth and then apply cold compresses to reduce the swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Dental Emergencies Objects Caught Between the Teeth

Try to gently remove the object with dental floss and avoid cutting the gums. Do not use a sharp instrument. If you’re not successful in removing the object, go to the dentist.

Click here for dental floss

Dental Emergencies Toothache

Any traumatic injury to the gums or teeth can cause excruciating pain. In other cases, however, the underlying cause of severe pain is not obvious. Pain that comes on suddenly may be caused by particles of food that lodge in a cavity and irritate the nerve. If you lose a filling or a crown, you may feel severe pain when air or hot or cold substances hit the uncovered part of the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Make sure food or foreign objects aren’t lodged around the tooth by using dental floss.

Pain that slowly becomes more severe over a period of time is commonly caused by debris lodged under the gum. Popcorn is a common offender. Because the hard cellulose fibres of the kernel don’t break down, it can remain stuck between your gum and your tooth. The longer any substance irritates the tissue, the worse the pain gets. Should the area get infected, you could develop an infection called an abscess that can become a serious health problem if left untreated.

Pain when you bite, especially if it is accompanied by a foul odour, can be a sign of an abscess that needs immediate treatment.

What You Can Do

First, call your dentist and make an appointment.

In the interim, here are a few steps you can take at home to try to relieve some of the pain:

  • Take paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin or other over-the-counter analgesic. Don’t ever put aspirin or any painkiller directly on the gums or around the aching tooth because it can cause a burn and do more harm than good. However, be aware that you need to see your dentist. If you mask the pain with a painkiller and ignore it, the infection can spread and could become life threatening.
  • If you can tell where the pain is coming from, brush the area or flood it with warm salt water, by swishing it around your mouth If the pain is caused by debris lodged in a cavity, washing the area may relieve the problem.
  • Floss your teeth and brush the gum line. This may remove debris that’s lodged under the gum.
  • If you’ve lost a filling or crown, dip a cotton swab in clove oil or toothache drops and apply it to the exposed part of the tooth.
  • Apply an ice pack to your cheek or jaw to relieve discomfort.

Putney Dental Surgery now offers on line purchase of professionally recommended products such as recaldent chewing gum, gc tooth mousse and Colgate fluoride at

Local residents from Putney Hill, Putney or Ryde can pick up these  products  (Colgates, Recaldent, GC Tooth Mousse)from our practice


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