Common Dental Emergencies: How to Handle Them Before Reaching the Dentist

Accidents happen, and when they involve your teeth, knowing how to handle common dental emergencies can make a significant difference. Knowing how to respond promptly can mitigate pain and prevent further damage. This guide is tailored to empower you with the knowledge to handle common dental emergencies effectively, providing immediate relief until you reach your trusted dental office.

Common Dental Emergencies


A toothache can be debilitating, causing discomfort and disruption to your daily life. Here’s what you can do to alleviate the pain before visiting our office:

  • Rinse and Floss: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the affected area, and carefully floss around the tooth to remove any debris or trapped food.
  • Pain Relief: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever following the recommended dosage.
  • Cold Compress: Place a cold compress on the cheek over the affected area to reduce swelling and numb the pain.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention to increase the chances of saving it. Follow these steps:

1. Retrieve the Tooth

  • Handle Carefully: Hold the tooth by the crown (the top part of the tooth) and avoid touching the roots.
  • Rinse: Gently rinse the tooth with water, but do not scrub it.

2. Reinsert or Preserve

  • Reinsert if Possible: If it’s a permanent tooth, try to reinsert it into the socket. Hold it in place by biting on a clean cloth or gauze.
  • Preserve in Milk: If reinsertion isn’t possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk to keep it moist.

3. Seek Immediate Dental Attention

Call Mi Smile Family Dentistry — contact our office immediately for emergency dental care.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can be both painful and concerning. Follow these steps to manage the situation until you can see a dentist:

1. Save The Pieces

  • Retrieve Broken Pieces: If possible, save any broken pieces of the tooth.
  • Rinse: Gently rinse the mouth and broken pieces with warm water.

2. Pain Relief

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed for pain management.

3. Dental Wax or Sugarless Gum

  • Temporary Cover: If the tooth has a sharp edge, you can cover it with dental wax or sugarless gum to prevent irritation.

Lost Filling or Crown

Losing a filling or crown can expose sensitive areas of the tooth, leading to discomfort. Here’s what you can do until you see a dentist:

1. Save the Restoration

  • Retrieve the Filling or Crown: If possible, save the filling or crown.
  • Clean: Gently clean the exposed area with warm water.

2. Temporary Cover

  • Over-the-Counter Dental Cement: Temporary dental cement, available at pharmacies, can be used to cover the exposed area until you see the dentist.

3. Avoid Chewing

  • Be Mindful of Eating: Avoid chewing on the side with the lost filling or crown to prevent further damage.
Woman touching cheek in pain due to toothache.

Contact Mi Smile Family Dental For Your Dental Emergencies!

While these steps can provide temporary relief, it’s crucial to seek professional dental care promptly. At Mi Smile Family Dentistry, our experienced team is ready to address your dental emergencies and provide the necessary treatment to restore your oral health. 

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call your entrusted Houston dentist. Our compassionate team is here to assist you.