Why Your Actions Matter During a Dental Emergency

Accidents, trauma, emergencies. These don’t happen on schedule.

In fact, they most often catch you off-guard. When you’re faced with a dental emergency it’s essential to your oral health that you act promptly and appropriately.

What first-response looks like

Increased risk and health issues can multiply if you delay your response during a dental emergency. Your immediate attention will help eliminate the risks to your oral health and potentially save your tooth/teeth and additional treatment costs.

Keep timing on your side when your teeth, gums, mouth, or jaw are injured. Permanent tissue and tooth damage can be prevented the sooner you respond by contacting your dentist.

How to recognize a dental emergency and what to do

Broken or damaged tooth

Your teeth are durable. But they’re also vulnerable to fractures or breaking.

Chewing, biting down, or clenching can suddenly crack or break your tooth. You might not feel any pain at first and be unaware that damage has occurred.

A first step when you break your tooth is to rinse your mouth with warm water. Swelling or pain can be treated with a cold compress on the area.

Follow these at-home steps with a call to our dental office. Give us the details about your broken or damaged tooth and we will guide you with next steps.

Knocked-out or lost tooth

First, find your tooth if possible. Rinse it gently with water and preserve any attached tissue.

If you’re able, gently place the tooth back into the gum socket. Hold it in place with soft tissue or cloth until you can arrive at our dental office.

If necessary, place your tooth in a cup of warm milk or warm water. Contact us and schedule treatment as soon as possible.

Lost crown or filling

You can reattach your crown or filling with an over-the-counter dental adhesive or dental cement. This is only a temporary fix until you can arrive for permanent reattachment at our dental office.

Gums that are painful, swelled, or infected

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid an abscess from occurring or progressing. Rinse with warm salt water and contact our office to diagnose the problem and receive treatment information.


A toothache can indicate other dental problems. A warm water mouth rinse or gently flossing the area can help dislodge impacted food or the cause of the irritation.

Contact our dental office with the details of your mouth or tooth pain. We can recommend the next step you can take at home or schedule a dental examination.

Dental emergencies are treatable. Contact your Knoxville dentist about your tooth or mouth trauma and schedule an examination.

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