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How to Effectively Respond to Common Dental Emergencies

January 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsaran @ 10:54 pm
woman holding jaw in pain

The last thing you want is to deal with a dental emergency. But, as the old saying goes, “If it can happen, it will happen.” While at first glance, this may seem pessimistic, adopting this mindset about a dental emergency can actually be quite beneficial to you. After all, if you know what types of trauma can happen and have a plan of action for how to respond, it makes the recovery process much smoother. As you continue reading, an emergency dentist in Long Island City lists some common types of dental emergencies, along with the initial steps you should take to address them.

Always Do This

In any emergency situation, you should always take a moment to slow down your breathing. By calming yourself, you can gain more clarity and make the best decisions. Then, reach out to an emergency dentist to explain what has happened and to schedule a visit.

Meanwhile, it’s important to know how to stabilize the problem until you can be seen.


When a toothache emerges, it usually stems from dental negligence, as oral bacteria have been allowed to travel to the deeper parts of the tooth. Until you can be seen by a dentist, here’s what you should do:

  • Carefully floss around the pain site to make sure there is no food lodged between your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water solution to slow down the advancement of the bacteria.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of your jaw to help manage any swelling.
  • To quiet the discomfort, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil).

Chipped or Broken Tooth

If your tooth becomes chipped or broken, rinse your mouth with water and apply a cold compress around the area where there’s any swelling. Also, gather any broken pieces and place them in a bag to take with you to your dental visit.

Dislodged Tooth

When a tooth is knocked out, it’s a time-sensitive matter, as it will need to be reinserted expeditiously if it’s to be salvaged. Start by grabbing the tooth by the crown (the wider portion) and gently rinsing it under cold water, while being careful not to remove any tissue that is attached. Next, attempt to reinsert the tooth in its socket, but if that doesn’t work, place it in a cup of milk or water with salt added. This will help to keep the roots alive until you visit your dentist.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

The first step in either situation is to gently wash the area and place a cold compress on the wound to reduce any swelling. If any bleeding persists for more than 10 minutes, then head to the emergency room.

Dental emergencies are unfortunate, but by knowing what to do initially and receiving the expert care of an emergency dentist, you can fully recover and get your life back on track.

About the Author

Dr. Ishwinder Saran earned his dental degree from the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. A consummate learner, he has received additional postgraduate training in a host of areas, which includes root canal therapy and other minor surgical procedures. Dr. Saran treats dental emergencies at LIC Dental Associates, and he can be reached for more information through his website.

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