Dental Emergencies – What to Do


The holiday season is fast approaching, and everybody is looking forward to a well-deserved break. While the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, dentists all over Australia deal with unexpected dental emergencies every year.  Experiencing a dental emergency can be quite distressing and put a real damper on your holiday spirit but knowing what to do will help to ensure the best possible outcome. In this blog post, we will be sharing some insight into some of the most common dental emergencies along with some tips on managing your symptoms until you are able to visit your dentist.

Common Dental Emergencies

  1. Knocked Out Tooth

Facial trauma has the potential to cause a knocked out or dislodged tooth. Whether you have sustained a facial injury whilst playing contact sports or had an accidental fall, you should have your injury seen to by a medical professional as soon as possible. If you notice that a tooth has been knocked out, the following steps should be taken in an effort to save the tooth.

  • If the tooth has been knocked out, you should pick it up by the crown. Avoid touching the root, as this part of the tooth is highly susceptible to damage and infection.
  • If it is an adult tooth, you can rinse the tooth quickly under warm water to clear away any dirt and debris. You may then attempt to replace the tooth within the socket, ensuring it is orientated correctly. This will help to preserve the root. To help hold the tooth in place, you can use a piece of gauze or cloth and have the individual bite down on it. You should visit your dentist or the nearest hospital immediately.
  • If it is a baby tooth, it is not always possible to replace the tooth for younger children. In this case, you should store the tooth in a small, clean container filled with milk. Visit your dentist or nearest hospital immediately.

It is critical that you visit your dentist immediately after losing a tooth. If you are able to get the tooth back in place within 30 minutes, there is a good chance the dentist will be able to successfully reimplant and save the tooth. If it has been more than 30 minutes since the tooth was lost and it could not be replaced, then the chances of successful reimplantation are slim.

  1. Toothache

Toothache is a common experience with a variety of potential causes. Whilst tooth decay is the most common reason for toothache, it can also occur in people with a history of tooth grinding (bruxism) or if a tooth has been cracked or chipped. The following at-home pain relief methods may help to ease your symptoms until you are able to visit your dentist.

  • Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
  • Apply an icepack to your cheek.
  • Paracetamol and other over-the-counter pain relievers
  1. Lost Filling

Sometimes fillings can fall out unexpectedly, whether due to normal wear and tear or factors such as tooth decay and bruxism. Due to exposure of the tooth tissue, you may experience some pain and sensitivity. In the meantime, call your dentist at your earliest convenience to book an appointment, and try to keep the area clean by rinsing with salt water.

  1. Tooth Abscess

A bacterial infection within the mouth is serious and potentially life-threatening. If you experience facial swelling, fever, bad breath, toothache, or notice pus around the teeth or gums, you should visit an emergency dentist immediately. Rinsing your mouth with a mild saline solution can help to alleviate symptoms and keep the mouth clean until a dentist can see you. Most cases of dental abscesses are treated with root canal therapy and/or antibiotics.

Experienced a Dental Emergency? Call iSmile Dentistry Now

Even if you maintain a good oral hygiene routine and attend regular check-ups, dental emergencies can still occur unexpectedly. It is crucial that you seek immediate professional attention. iSmile Dentistry is your local emergency dentist in St Leonards. Contact us now to book an appointment.