How To Treat Dental Emergencies

How To Treat Common Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies Guide

Even though we try to fit in any patients who have a dental emergency occur, sometimes patients have to wait until the next day before getting it treated by a dentist. Here are a few of the most common dental emergencies, and first aid treatments to get you by until a dentist can make the right treatment plan! 


  • Clean the area around the sore tooth gently and thoroughly. 
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. 
  • Use dental floss to dislodge any food or debris. 
  • If your face is swollen, apply a cold compress. 

Bitten Lip or Tongue 

  • Apply ice to bruised areas. 
  • Apply a cold compress to any swollen areas. 
  • If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean gauze or cloth. 

While most bitten lip or tongue accidents don't require a trip to the doctor or dentist, if bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes, head to a hospital emergency room.

Chipped or Broken Tooth 

  • Gently clean dirt from the injured area with warm water.
  • Protect the tooth from further exposure to air or cold liquid with clean gauze. 
  • Locate and save any broken pieces. Put them in milk, and bring them with you when you see the dentist. 
  • Place a cold compress over the area of the face where the injured tooth is to decrease swelling. 

Knocked Out Tooth 

  • Find the tooth (and clean it if it's dirty by running it under cold water for about 10 seconds). 
  • Handle the tooth by the top (the crown), not the bottom (the root). 
  • Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. 
  • Put the tooth in a cup of milk. 
  • Try to reinsert it in its socket, and bite on a soft cloth to hold it in position. 
  • Go to the dentist or a hospital immediately (time is a critical factor in saving the tooth). 

For kids, make sure the tooth that was knocked out is a permanent tooth. 

Possible Broken Jaw 

  • Stabilize the jaw in place by tying a handkerchief, necktie, or towel around the jaw and over the top of he head.
  • If swelling occurs, apply cold compresses. 
  • Immediately go to the ER. 


For more information, you can download our Dental Emergencies First Aid Guide! 

At Searcy Family Dental, Dr. Barker and his friendly staff strive to create lasting relationships with patients. We believe that a bright and healthy smile has so much power, and we want to help all of our patients reach their dental goals! We offer a wide range of general dentistry services, plus specialty dental services such as dental implants and dentures. 

If you are experiencing any of the dental emergencies listed above, give our office a call! We keep a few times open every day to accommodate last-minute emergencies!