Dentist’s top tips for dental emergencies

Many serious dental problems can be avoided if first aid treatment is properly administered early on.

Dental emergencies may fall under several different categories. For instance, they may be caused by trauma leading to a dislodged tooth, bitten lip or tongue, or a chipped tooth. Even though the severity of these cases may vary from one another, they still can be corrected and treated.

While dental pain should be examined by a dentist, Dr Gorsht provides the following first-aid tips to help minimise pain and complications. Here are some first aid tips that anyone may apply even without the presence of the dentist

1. In the case of a bitten tongue or check. If the bit is severe enough that it is bleeding, it is advised to clean the area with water. Furthermore, dentists advise to apply a cold source to the area such a cold towel or ice pack so as to avoid swelling.

2. A broken or chipped tooth should be treated immediately by rinsing the mouth with warm water and also using a cold source such a compress in order to alleviate swelling. If possible, try to find the tooth fragment as this may help dentists diagnose or treat the injury.

3. In the case of a tooth that becomes completed dislodged and knocked out of the mouth, try to locate the tooth and carefully rinse it with water. Avoid touching the roots of the tooth.

If the tooth is still intact one can try to place the tooth back in its original location (socket) and keep it in place with a clean cloth or towel. In the event that one cannot put the knocked out tooth back in the socket, then put it into a container containing milk.

It is then advised to call a dentist as soon as possible or head to a hospital. Dr Gorsht cautions that when a tooth is knocked out, fragments may remain inside the socket and these fragments require removal in order to avoid possible complications.

Of course an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Consequently, Dr Gorsht recommends that patients avoid dental injuries, particularly those caused by sports trauma, by wearing appropriate protection.

Proper use of a mouthguard can help reduce the severity of dental injuries or even prevent certain injuries altogether.

For more information on dealing with dental emergencies, please visit

Become a Dentistry Online member

Become a member
Add to calendar