Common Dental Emergency Symptoms and Procedures

A broken tooth or broken teeth may need dental emergency treatment

If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911 now!

Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack (fracture) or break. This can happen in several ways:

  • Having cavities that weaken the tooth
  • Being hit in the face or mouth
  • Biting down on something hard

Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or may come and go. Many people feel pain when they chew because chewing puts pressure on the tooth.

What can I do if I have a broken tooth?

If you have a broken tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible. Most dentists leave time in their schedule every day for dental emergencies. Your dentist can figure out if the break was caused by cavities, and if the tooth’s nerve is in danger. A damaged nerve usually will require root canal treatment.

Until you get to the emergency dentist’s office:

  • Rinse your mouth well with warm water.
  • Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If this doesn’t work, use a tea bag with pressure on the area to stop the bleeding.
  • Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

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