How to handle common dental emergencies


  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
  • Use dental floss to remove any food or plaque stuck between teeth.
  • A cold compress outside of the mouth can help relieve pain and swelling.
  • Avoid putting aspirin or other painkillers directly on the tooth or gums.


  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
  • Save any pieces that have broken off and bring them to the dentist.
  • Avoid chewing in the area
  • Make sure to continue brushing and
  • flossing the area.


  • DO NOT clean or rinse the tooth unless there is large or obvious foreign debris attached.
  • Try to place the tooth back in its socket. Text us a picture to make sure it’s facing the right way.
  • If you can’t reinsert it, put it in milk on your way to the dentist.


  • Use dental floss to gently remove objects stuck between teeth.
  • If you can’t dislodge it, do not use pins or other objects that may damage the teeth or gums.
  • Sharp instruments could slip and injure delicate tissue in the mouth.


  • If your crown falls off, save it and bring it to the dentist with you.
  • You can attempt to temporarily place it back as is or…Use toothpaste, OTC cement, or denture adhesive to help hold it in place.
  • If crown is lost, contact us to discuss best options.


  • Swelling may indicate an infection, and should be treated as soon as possible to avoid its spread.
  • Rinse with warm saltwater
  • A cold compress outside of the mouth can help relieve pain and swelling.
  • Contact us immediately.

We understand how dental emergencies often happen at the most inopportune time. Some tooth problems such as an abscess (swelling) need immediate attention in order to prevent further complications. Other tooth problems need to be accessed further to come up with the appropriate remedy. Whatever the situation please do not hesitate to call or text our office to discuss the appropriate next steps. We will either meet you at Downtown Dental for an after-hours visit or schedule you for an appointment that is convenient for you.

Tooth pain is a warning sign that something could be wrong and waiting may result in further complications. Its important to work closely with your dentist to determine exactly what the source of the problems is. Some things require immediate attention and others can be appropriately managed with the appropriate examination and time. Please do not attempt to remove or adjust teeth with any tools or other do-it-yourself remedies. Please call or text us to take the appropriate next step.

Common sources of tooth pain may include: a cavity which exposes the inner portion of the tooth, tooth wear, or a cracked tooth. Additionally one of these problems could also cause a secondary infection inside, around or below the tooth. Sometimes tooth pain can be stemming from a completely unrelated problem that may be triggering tooth pain. A common example of this is a sinus inflammation or infection which can cause the roots of the upper molars to have pain despite there being nothing wrong with the teeth themselves.

Pain Medication

Oftentimes dental pain can be appropriately managed with the use of over-the-counter pain medication. Some situations may require a prescription for pain management. The appropriate medication and schedule of when you take it is really important to help relieve your symptoms. Please contact us first before self-medicating.


Tooth pain does not necessarily mean that an antibiotic will help with your symptoms. Swelling coming from a tooth problem is one of the main indications that an antibiotic may be appropriate. It is not recommended to take a borrowed antibiotic or left over antibiotics that have not been prescribed for your specific dental situation.