Dealing with Common Dental Emergencies

Depending on your type of dental emergency, there are a few steps that you can take to reduce your discomfort and reduce dental damage before you get to the doctor's office. 

Severe Pain

If you have an injury that is causing severe pain, there are a few steps you can take to relieve the pressure. Be sure that your mouth is clean and free of lodged food; you may want to gargle with warm water if the pain of brushing is too much. In addition to using over-the-counter painkillers, many patients find that a cold pack relieves the pain and alleviates swelling. 

Chipped Tooth

If you have broken or chipped a tooth, the first thing to do is to place the pieces in a secure place. You may also want to apply dental wax to the edges of the tooth to keep yourself from getting cut. You can use medical gauze to apply pressure to the area and stop the bleeding. An emergency dental care visit will be your best bet for saving the tooth. 

Lost Filling

A lost filling can be one of the most distressing dental emergencies, since it opens you up to infection. You'll need to fill the cavity in a safe way until you can see your dentist. First, gargle with mouth wash or warm water to remove any particles in the cavity. Then, place either dental wax or sugarless gum in the cavity to protect it from food. A same day appointment is a good idea to get the cavity filled with a more permanent filling. 


Another serious dental injury is the presence of an abscess. If you notice a bubble of clear or white liquid forming in your mouth, seek dental care immediately. Since the injury will often be very painful, you may want to take aspirin or ibuprofen, but never place the painkillers directly on the abscess. You can also start preparing the abscess to be drained by placing a mild saltwater solution on the gums. 

Seeking Emergency Dental Care

A same-day dentist who offers emergency dental care is a great option for when your pain is too much to bear, or when you have an injury that could quickly get worse. While some general dentists like Ellen Bollmeier, DMD, LLC will do same day appointments for severe dental injuries, there are also special care facilities that cater to dental emergencies. If you need to be seen by a dentist quickly, consider an emergency clinic that provides dental care.