Dental Emergencies

What is the best way to take care of dental emergencies? Calmly and quickly! If a dental emergency occurs, try to stay calm and call your dentist as soon as you can. Trauma to the mouth and teeth may be reduced if action is taken immediately. Learn more about handling common dental emergencies.


If you have a toothache, gently clean the painful area using a soft-bristle toothbrush and floss. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Avoid placing aspirin on the gums or tooth, as this may cause a burn. If you experience facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area for relief. Take acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol®) and call your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked out tooth

If a tooth is knocked out completely, call your dentist immediately. Getting care within an hour of the incident is vital to re-implanting the tooth and getting your smile back on track. Follow these steps before your emergency appointment:

Loosened tooth

If your tooth is pushed inward or outward, try to reposition it using the tip of your finger to apply very light pressure. (Do not force the tooth into its socket.) Contact your dentist as soon as possible. On the way to the dental office, stabilize the tooth and hold it in place with a moist tissue or gauze.

Chipped or fractured tooth

Chipped or fractured teeth can sometimes be repaired with prompt dental care. If you chip or fracture a tooth:

Soft tissue injury

To help prepare for dental emergencies, consider carrying a dental emergency kit including a handkerchief, gauze, small container with a lid, saline solution, water and your dentist’s phone number. When faced with any dental emergency, do not hesitate to call your dentist. Keeping calm and getting prompt professional care are the best things you can do.