Dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly, and knowing the appropriate steps to take can make a difference in saving or losing a tooth.


In case of any dental emergency, it is crucial to seek immediate dental care. Dentists often allocate time in their schedules for emergency cases, so be sure to contact your dentist and provide detailed information about your condition. If the accident happens when your dental office is closed, visit your local emergency room.


Here are some common dental emergencies and their recommended actions:


Q: What should I do if a tooth gets knocked out?

Answer: For a knocked-out permanent tooth, keep it moist at all times. If possible, try reinserting the tooth into its socket without touching the root. If that's not feasible, store it between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product approved by the ADA. Then, promptly visit your dentist.


Q: What if a child knocks out a tooth?

Answer: If it's a baby tooth, the best course of action is to find the tooth, keep it moist, and see a dentist. The dentist will assess if the entire tooth or only a portion has come out and determine whether re-implantation is necessary. For an adult tooth, follow the steps mentioned in the previous question.


Q: What if a tooth cracks?

Answer: In the case of a cracked tooth, rinse the mouth immediately with warm water to clean the area. Apply cold compresses on the face to minimize swelling. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.


Q: How should I treat a tongue or lip bite?

Answer: Clean the affected area gently with water if you bite your tongue or lip. Apply a cold compress. If excessive bleeding, uncontrollable bleeding, or severe pain persists, consult your dentist or go to the emergency room.


Q: How do I alleviate a toothache?

Answer: For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to remove debris. Use dental floss gently to dislodge any food particles stuck between teeth. Avoid placing aspirin directly on the tooth or gums as it may cause gum tissue damage. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.


Q: What if I suspect a broken jaw?

Answer: If you suspect a broken jaw, apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and seek immediate dental or hospital emergency care.


Q: How can I safely remove an object stuck in my mouth or between teeth?

Answer: If an object is stuck in your mouth, try gently removing it with dental floss. Avoid using sharp or pointed instruments. If you are unable to remove it or experience pain, visit your dentist to prevent further complications or infections.


Q: What essential items should I include in my first aid kit?

Answer: It is advisable to have dental floss on hand in case of debris stuck between teeth. Additionally, consider including the Save-a-Tooth emergency tooth preservation kit in your first aid kit for unexpected tooth loss situations.


Q: How can I prevent dental emergencies?

Answer: Take simple precautions to minimize the risk of dental accidents and injuries:

Wear a mouthguard during sports or recreational activities.

Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candies, as they can cause tooth fractures.

Use scissors instead of your teeth to cut objects.

Remember, it's crucial to seek professional dental care for any emergencies to ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health.


References: Dental Emergency - What if I break a Tooth | MouthHealthy - Oral Health Information from the ADA (American Dental Association, 미국 구강 보건 협회)