How to Survive a Dental Emergency

It’s inevitable. At one point in your life, you or your child might break braces, have a filling fall out or have severe tooth pain. We know that anything that goes wrong with your mouth can be stressful, but we want to ease your mind and give you some tips to help you along the way. Your dentist won’t be able to immediately fix your dental issue if it occurs at midnight, but with this emergency dental survival guide, you should be able to survive this crisis until your dentists’ next available appointment.

Here are some common dental emergencies that we see, and here’s what to do if this happens to you or a family member:

  • Tooth pain: Ouch, your mouth and teeth are in severe pain. What should you do? We suggest taking a painkiller like Motrin or Advil. We recommend staying away from aspirin because it could potentially make bleeding worse. Next, floss and rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If you’re still experiencing pain, we recommend you call your dentist.
  • Knocked out or broken tooth: Uh oh, your child knocked out their tooth playing baseball. They took a fast ball right to the mouth. What should you do? Well, for starters, don’t panic. If you have the tooth, rinse it completely and then gently place is back in its socket or in a container with some saliva. If the tooth is broken, try to save as many pieces of the tooth as you can. Use a cold compress to reduce gum swelling.
  • Bleeding or swollen gums: If you notice your gums are swollen, or are bleeding, just stay calm. We suggest you apply pressure to the bleeding area for 15 minutes with a sterile gauze pad. If you have swollen gums, you may have a dental abscess. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and call your dentist.

  • Filling fell out or is loose: If you’re experiencing a filling that fell out or is loose, it’s important that you do not touch the area at all. It might be difficult to avoid the area, but we urge you to not touch the tooth with your tongue or anything else. We recommend going to your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Broken dentures, braces, or dental appliances: With this dental emergency, it’s important that you do not try to fix it yourself. You could make things worse and potentially injure yourself. Make sure you leave it as is until you make it to your dentist or orthodontist office.


Dental emergencies can be scary, but with these tips, we hope we eased your mind so you know what to do until you can get to your dentists’ office. No matter what your dental emergency may be, always remember to stay calm, think positive and make an appointment so that your smile can get back to being beautiful.