Most Common Dental Emergencies

If you experience a dental emergency, how you respond may determine whether or not you are able to save your tooth. Therefore, it is best to be knowledgeable about common dental emergencies and what to do. Then, if you find yourself in the situation, you will take the appropriate steps for the best possible outcome. Let’s examine a few common dental emergencies and how to react.

man with ice pack on face

Knocked Out Tooth

People knock out a tooth playing a sport without wearing a mouthguard. This is more common with recreational sports in which proper equipment is not required. The important thing is to find the tooth and then keep it moist at all times. If possible, place it back in the socket. Or, keep it between your cheek and gums. As a last resort, put it in milk. Contact Dr. Vann immediately.

Cracked Tooth

A tooth can be cracked by biting down on a non-food item or hard food. If you crack your tooth, use warm water to clean the area. To prevent swelling use cold compresses on your face. Again, contact Dr. Vann immediately.

Bit Tongue or Lip

This injury commonly occurs when someone falls down and accidentally bites their tongue or lip as a result. Use water to clean the wound and then apply a cold compress. If the bleeding won’t stop or you are experiencing excessive pain, contact Dr. Vann.


A painful tooth can be an indication that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. First, check to make sure you don’t have food caught between your teeth causing the discomfort. If you do, try to remove by brushing and flossing. If the item will not dislodge, do not attempt to use any sharp objects to remove it because you may accidentally cause an injury. Instead, call the dentist. If the pain is not caused by caught food, it may be due to an infection. Therefore, pain that persists or causes significant discomfort should be evaluated by Dr. Vann.

How to Avoid an Emergency

In many cases it is possible to avoid a dental emergency if the appropriate precautions are followed. Consider the following as suggested by the American Dental Association:

  • Visit the dentist twice a year so they can keep your gums and teeth healthy.
  • Always wear a mouthguard when participating in contact sports, even if you are just playing the game recreationally.
  • Don’t use your teeth to cut something. Instead use scissors.
  • Don’t chew ice, popcorn kernels or hard candy which are known to crack teeth.

Handling a dental emergency appropriately may allow you to save the tooth or prevent a larger dental issue. Keep the above information in mind in case you or a loved one faces a dental emergency.

Do you have a dental emergency? Call Dr. Vann who sees all emergencies promptly! Call right away or schedule an appointment online.

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