How to be prepared for the dental emergencies that can happen to anyone

The one thing about dental emergencies is that they typically happen with little or no notice. The best way to protect yourself and others in such emergency situations is to be prepared ahead of time and know what to do if an emergency arises. How you react in the minutes following a dental emergency may determine if you or a loved one retains or loses a tooth.

Here’s a look at the top dental emergencies that can happen to anyone at any time and what to do.


A toothache may not sound like a dental emergency, until you have one. Pain associated with a toothache can be quite intense. It is important to clean out the area where the pain is coming from as soon as possible. Use a combination of brushing, rinsing with mouthwash and flossing to remove any debris from around your teeth and gums that may be causing the problem. Contact your dentist as soon as possible before the pain worsens. Most people put off paying attention to those warning niggles of pain. Please don’t! They usually worsen at most inconvenient times for you and the dentist! The quicker you get the problem treated the fewer the complications, and normally the cheaper it will be to get rid of the pain.

A chipped or cracked tooth

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, it is important to collect as many fragments of the broken tooth as possible and rinse your mouth out, being careful not to lose any pieces. You should keep the fragments of your tooth in a cup of warm milk or water and contact your dentist immediately. Be sure to take all the fragments to the dentist with you.

Knocked out tooth

It is possible to replace a knocked-out tooth if you can keep the tooth in good condition and get to a dental office within 60 minutes. You should rinse your mouth out with warm water. If possible try to place the tooth back into your mouth in its usual position and hold it there until you can get to the dentist. This is normally not painful at all to most peoples surprise, and is best achieved quickly before a blood clot forms. Hold the tooth by the enamel at the biting tip and rinse off any dirt with warm water. Quickly and gently rotate it side to side back into place. Don’t be afraid to push it right up to it’s normal place, comparing it to the teeth on either side. If you cannot get your tooth to fit back into its usual space, then place the tooth in a cup of milk or warm water to preserve it. You can also press a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling. Again get to the dentist FAST. The quicker it is put back the fewer the complications. (Never let the tooth dry out!)

Tooth abscess

An abscess on a tooth is a sign of a serious infection in your mouth and one of the most serious dental emergencies. If you have severe swelling of your gums, cheek, floor of mouth, neck or throat area next to a sore or broken down tooth it is important to contact a dentist immediately or seek treatment at the local hospital emergency room. A medical professional will provide advice and treatment to fight the infection.

If you are currently experiencing a dental emergency, please contact our reception staff and explain your circumstances. We will do our best to attend to you as soon as possible. Here at Dr Martin Jest Dental Surgery we treat dental emergencies as a priority!