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Dental Emergencies

A dental emergency is something that can happen anytime in the day or the night. It can range from a toothache that is sudden and intense to a tooth that is knocked out. When this happens, if you intend to save the tooth, you should be calm and proactive. Only then you can avoid the permanent damage. 

Here are some fantastic tips or guidelines that you can follow when you encounter a dental emergency. 


When should I see the dentist?

It’s crucial for you to get the treatment as soon as possible when there is a mouth injury.  Reaching the dental clinic within the next 30 minutes is vital if you want to save a tooth or teeth. Most of the dentists set aside time every day to attend to dental emergencies that pop up suddenly. Upon reaching the dental clinic, it’s wise to inform the staff about the condition so that they can provide you with immediate assistance and support that is required.

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How should you react if you have:

Knocked-out tooth

If this happens, the first thing that you should be doing is to locate the tooth that has fallen out. You need to stay calm instead of worrying even though it is difficult. Handle the tooth by its crown (top) and not by its roots. You should ensure that you are not rubbing or scraping away the tissue fragments from it. If you doubt that it has collected some dirt and debris on it, plan on immersing it in the saliva or milk to clean it. 

Cracked, chipped or fractured tooth

The first thing that you should do in this situation is to clean up the area that is affected by with warm water. You should also plan on using a cold compress by packing the ice in a clean towel and press it gently on the face to reduce swelling.

You should visit the dentist depending on the urgency of the situation. In most cases, only a dentist can tell if the condition is severe or not. It’s wise to consult with the dentist for the surgery as soon as possible as it’s always better to be safe than to feel sorry later.


The first thing to do is to rinse your mouth with the warm water to clean it thoroughly. Use a cold compress to gently press your cheek or mouth if you notice that there is swelling. Try to remove food particles from your teeth using a string of dental floss.

You should never put aspirin directly on the tooth or gum that is in pain. It will burn out the gum tissue. You should contact the dentist or a pharmacist to give you over-the-counter medicines or pills to help you in relieving the pain. If you continue to feel pain, you should visit the dentist soon so that he can provide you with the necessary treatment.

Bitten lip, cheek or tongue

This is something that might happen when you are trying to eat or chew something or when you fall on the ground and hit your face. You should clean the affected area with warm salty water. 

Use an ice pack or a clean towel wrapped with ice cubes to rub it gently on the affected area to reduce swelling and bleeding if there is any.  Visit the dentist immediately if the bleeding doesn’t stop even after 15 minutes.


In a nutshell, an ‘abscess’ is nothing but a local infection that develops near the root of the tooth or in the space that is between the teeth or gums. If you do not get the treatment on time, it can affect the tissue or the surrounding area near the teeth. There are chances of the infection spreading across the mouth and, in some cases, it can also become life-threatening.

It is, therefore, wise to consult with a dentist as soon as possible without delay. It’s essential to rinse your mouth regularly with warm salt water. It can alleviate any discomfort that you might be having until you meet the dentist.

Crown or lost filling

There is a good chance for the filling or crown to become loose if a cavity develops underneath it. You are going to have severe and acute pain when this occurs. Since the middle layer of the tooth (dentine) is sensitive, it can cause pain when you are consuming cold or hot food.

In this situation, you might need to get a new filling or a crown. It’s, therefore, crucial for you to visit the dentist soon to solve this problem as quickly as possible.

What can you do to prevent a dental emergency?

You can follow precautions to prevent some types of tooth injuries. For example, you should always wear a mouthguard when you are playing sports or participating in recreational activities where there is a risk of injury. Mouthguards can be custom made especially for you and later fitted by a dentist.

You should also avoid using your teeth to open packages of food products. Use scissors instead. Be careful when chewing certain foods, such as nuts and bread with a hard crust.  Don’t chew hard objects such as pens and ice.

Suite 303, 20 WODEN CENTRE,
Woden, ACT 2606
10 Minutes from Canberra

02 6281 4955

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