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Dos and Don’ts When a Dental Emergency Happens

A dental emergency is something that can occur at any time. The most common dental emergencies are knocked-out, broken, or chipped teeth. It's essential to know how to handle the situation effectively. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.


  • Stay calm: It's essential to stay calm and composed during a dental emergency. Panic can make the situation more difficult to manage.

  • Contact a dental professional: Reach out to your dentist or an emergency dental clinic as soon as possible. Explain the situation and follow their instructions for immediate care or to schedule an emergency appointment.

  • Control bleeding: If there is bleeding, use a clean cloth or gauze to apply gentle pressure to the affected area. This can help control the bleeding until you receive professional dental care.

  • Preserve knocked-out teeth: If a tooth has been knocked out, handle it by the crown (top part) and avoid touching the root. Rinse it gently with water if it's dirty, but do not scrub or remove any tissue fragments. If possible, try to reinsert the tooth back into its socket and hold it in place with gentle pressure. If that's not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva and bring it to the dentist.

  • Manage toothache or swelling: Use a cold compress outside the mouth or cheek to help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by your dentist or healthcare professional.


  • Panic or delay seeking help: Avoid panicking and delaying seeking professional help. Dental emergencies require prompt attention to minimize potential complications and increase the chances of successful treatment.

  • Ignore a knocked-out tooth: A knocked-out tooth has the best chance of survival if reimplanted within one hour. Don't ignore a knocked-out tooth or assume it cannot be saved. Act quickly and contact a dental professional for guidance.

  • Apply aspirin or other medications directly to the tooth or gum: Some people may attempt to alleviate toothache pain by applying aspirin or other drugs directly to the affected area. This can cause chemical burns to the gum tissue and worsen the situation. Always follow the instructions of a dental professional for managing pain or discomfort.

  • Use strong or excessive force to remove objects stuck between teeth: If something gets stuck between your teeth, avoid using sharp objects or excessive force to remove it. This can lead to injury or damage to the teeth and gums. Instead, gently floss or use an interdental brush to try and dislodge the object. If unsuccessful, seek dental assistance.

Don't let dental emergencies catch you off guard! Follow these steps to handle common dental emergencies and take preventive measures to protect your oral health:

  • Knocked-out tooth – Handle the tooth by the crown, rinse it with water, and gently reposition it back into the socket if possible. Hold the tooth in place with gauze or a clean cloth. If repositioning isn’t possible, store the tooth in milk or saliva and seek emergency dental care.

  • Treating toothaches - Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and apply a cold compress to the affected area. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help but seek dental care if the pain persists or is accompanied by other symptoms.

  • Dealing with broken teeth – Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the affected area. Save any broken pieces of the tooth and seek dental care as soon as possible. Cover the sharp edge of the fractured tooth with dental wax or sugarless gum to prevent further damage.

At the Advanced Dental Center, we offer emergency appointments. We have heard from many patients the struggle they have had to access a dentist even when suffering from severe toothache. Whether it's a sudden toothache, a broken tooth, or an unexpected dental incident, our professional team is ready and equipped to handle your dental needs promptly and efficiently. Your dental health is our priority.

If you or someone you know suffers from toothache or a dental emergency, call us at (203) 945-0068 and schedule your appointment with the best dentists in Norwalk, CT!

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