If you need emergency dental treatment out of practice working hours please call 01902 763200 for information on what to do.

Emergency Dental Problems

Any dental emergency like an injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on.

Below is a list of common dental problems -

Toothache -

    1. Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to remove any food that may be lodged in-between the teeth.
    2. If your mouth is swollen apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek
    3. Never hold aspirin/clove oil or any other painkiller against the gum next to the tooth in question. As it may result in a gum burn or hinder diagnostic procedures.
    4. Take over the counter analgesics if required such as Paracetamol.
    5. Book an appointment to see the dentist ASAP.

Chipped/Broken Tooth -

    1. Save any pieces.
    2. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces.
    3. If there's bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
    4. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain.
    5. Book an appointment to see the dentist ASAP.

Tooth knocked out of the mouth -

    1. Retrieve the tooth and hold it by the crown (the bit that can usually be seen in the mouth).
    2. Rinse the tooth off with milk if it is dirty or saline if you have access to it. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.
    3. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it's facing the right way. Never force it into the socket.
    4. If it's not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk or again saline solution if you have access to it.
    5. In all scenarios see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.

Extruded tooth (partially dislodged tooth) -

    1. Apply a cold compress to your face over the affected area.
    2. Take over the counter painkillers if required.
    3. Book an appointment to see the dentist ASAP.

Lost filling/crown -

    1. As a temporary measure you could use an over the counter temporary dental cement however these can be fiddly. Do not use super glue!
    2. Book an appointment to see the dentist ASAP always bring the broken or de-cemented restoration with you.

Broken brace wire or lost bracket -

    1. If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can't reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist's office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.
    2. If the problem is a loose bracket or band and save it.
    3. Book an appointment to see the orthodontist to have it repaired.

Dental abscess -

    1. Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.
    2. To ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.
    3. Take over the counter pain killers as required.
    4. Book an appointment to see the orthodontist to have it repaired.

Injuries to the tongue, cheek, gums and lip - to stop the bleeding

    1. Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
    2. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
    3. To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
    4. If the bleeding doesn't stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital A&E department. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.