What To Do In A Dental Emergency

Do you have a dental emergency? Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay. On this blog, we are going through what dental emergencies are and what to do if you have one.

What is considered a dental emergency?

It’s not always clear what is a waiting matter and what is an emergency. You are definitely experiencing a dental emergency if:

  • You are showing signs of an infection
  • You have a cracked or broken teeth
  • You’ve knocked out teeth
  • You’re bleeding
  • You’ve dislodged a filling or a crown


If you are showing signs of an infection then you could have an abscessed tooth. This is an infection that spreads from the root of the tooth causing decay and, when untreated, it can travel to the lymph nodes. You should be especially wary of an infection if you’ve recently had mouth surgery. Symptoms of an infection include:

  • Severe and persisting pain
  • Swelling
  • A putrid taste or smell
  • Sensitivity to temperature and pressure
  • Visible signs like discolouring and cyst-like lumps.

See your dentist or surgeon as soon as possible, if left untreated the infection will spread. It will be harder to treat or remove and, in a worst-case scenario, can even be life-threatening. There isn’t much you can do before seeing a professional, but if there is a cyst do not pop it.

Fractured and broken teeth

A broken or cracked tooth could be the result of a cavity. If you’ve knocked it there is a possibility that you have nerve damage. So when it happens you need to see your dentist as soon as possible.

If you have broken your tooth, don’t panic, this is what you do:

  • Keep the broken fragment in the best condition you can. Preserve it in milk, saliva or warm salt solution
  • Rinse your mouth out with warm water or ideally warm salt water. This will get rid of any grit
  • If there is bleeding press down with a gauze for around ten minutes. If bleeding persists for longer than twenty minutes, go to an emergency dentist

Do not wait to get your fractured or broken tooth treated, saving your tooth could be a time sensitive matter.

Knocked out teeth

If you’ve knocked out a tooth, don’t panic, your smile can be saved if you act quickly.

  • Pick it up by the crown and not by the root
  • If the root has dirt on it then rinse it off. You should use milk or a saline solution. Do not use water or soap
  • Make sure the tooth is facing the right way and gently push it back into the socket
  • Keep it in place by gently biting down on something soft and thin like a handkerchief 
  • If you can’t put the tooth back in then don’t let it go dry. Instead, put the dislodged tooth into some of your saliva or milk Then seal it in plastic to take to your dentist
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible

If the tooth hasn’t fallen out, but feels like it is about to, leave it in the socket and apply cold if you can. You have a higher chance of saving your tooth the faster you see a professional.


There are a few situations you should be concerned about bleeding. Naturally, your mouth is very good at healing cuts, so if bleeding continues it usually means that something isn’t right.

The most immediate situation is if bleeding persists after a surgery or a dental procedure. Press down on the wound with sterile gauze and apply something cool to slow the bleeding. Then you should get in contact with your dentist or surgeon immediately.

The second situation is if you are experiencing bleeding from flossing or brushing your teeth then it could be a sign that something is seriously wrong. It could just be that you have sensitive gums, but it could also be a sign of a chronic illness or, in extreme cases, cancer.

Dislodged Fillings and Crowns

If your crown comes loose, try not to swallow it by accident, and do your best to slip it back into place. You can secure it with some toothpaste. Whatever you do, do not try and glue it back into place. Instead go see your dentist immediately and they will restore the crown.

If your filling falls out then try and put it back in place until you can see a dentist. Just like the crown, you can keep it in place with toothpaste. If you’ve lost the filling then you can cover the hole with gum, preferably sugarless.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, Eden Rise Dental handles trauma and emergencies. If your emergency is after hours then go straight to a dental hospital. Contact us on (03) 9702 6111 for more information on how we can help you.