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Dental emergencies – step by step

Dental emergencies – step by step

It’s nothing extraordinary but for many of us our dental routine usually revolves around something as simple as cleaning our teeth for two minutes twice a day and visiting our dentist perhaps a couple of times a year.

Regular maintenance of the mouth, keeping our teeth and gums clean and clear of infection and disease is set in stone from an early age and it is something that we carry throughout our lifetime. These measures are used to actively prevent any difficulties before they strike, but what happens when things do not go according to plan?

knocked-Out Tooth

  • Avoid handling the root.
  • If the tooth is very dirty, rinse it with milk and wipe it with a clean cloth.
  • Hold the tooth by the crown and put it back into the socket firmly, root first. Bite on a clean handkerchief for 15-20 minutes.
  • If you cannot get the tooth back in, keep it in your cheek until you can get emergency treatment.
  • The tooth has more chance of being successfully re-implanted if it is done within 30-60 minutes.

Broken Tooth

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean.
  • Visit your dentist for advice and further treatment.

Possible Broken Jaw

  • Apply cold compresses to control swelling.
  • Go to your Accident and Emergency Department immediately.

Objects Stuck Between Teeth

  • Gently try to remove the object with dental floss.
  • If you are not successful, visit your dentist.
  • Do not try to remove the object with anything sharp or pointed.


  • Constant and severe pain, pressure or swelling of the gum and sensitive to touch.
  • Any of the above symptoms should be checked out by your dentist.
  • Do not be tempted to put anything such as aspirin or clove oil directly onto your gum. If you need pain relief then take your usual painkiller, otherwise, consult with a pharmacist about alternative products.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

  • Clean the area with a cloth.
  • Apply cold compresses to keep swelling down.
  • If the bleeding is excessive or doesn’t stop period, go to the dentist or Accident and Emergency Department.