While they’re hopefully rare and not something you have to deal with regularly, dental emergencies are events everyone should be prepared for in case they happen. Whether a dental emergency is taking place in your own mouth or someone you’re close by, such as a child or parent, it’s vital to understand some basic steps to take and how to respond.

At Canyon Rim Dental, we’re proud to offer a variety of same-day emergency dental care services in our family dentist office. In this two-part blog series, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about how to respond during a dental emergency – part one will focus on immediate care methods to ensure symptoms do not worsen, while part two will dig into the calls you should make, insurance coverage and some other basics on recognizing and responding to emergency dental situations.

how respond dental emergencies


While some toothaches might be minor enough to simply monitor and see how they develop, others might be severe enough that they require actual attention from a dentist. Whether or not you choose to call our offices due to a persistent, significant toothache, one method we recommend for helping relieve the pain is rinsing the mouth with warm water after every meal. In addition, floss carefully, particularly in any areas that have swelling.

On top of this, many people find pain relief from placing an ice pack in the painful area. If swelling is a major factor here, you should plan to schedule a dental appointment.

Lost Tooth

If one of your teeth is knocked out and remains intact, your first goal will be retrieving the tooth – touch it only from the top, or crown, and try not to touch the roots or the bottom if you can. If you are able to, sanitize the tooth and place it gently back in its original socket, where many lost teeth will sit temporarily while you await an appointment with your dentist.

If the tooth will not fit back in the socket, place it in a glass of lightly salted water or cold milk. In some cases, if you are able to see a dentist quickly, they will be able to replace the tooth in your mouth.

Broken or Cracked Tooth

If a tooth has been broken or cracked, rinse the mouth with warm water and place an ice pack on the cheek nearest the tooth to prevent swelling. From here, call our offices for the soonest available appointment.

If your mouth is bleeding as a result of this or some other issue, use your discretion on whether the cut might require medical attention such as stitches.

Chronic Mouth Sores

If you have a major mouth sore or abscess in the gums, avoid acidic items like oranges, tomatoes and various drinks that may cause more pain. Call our office if these last for any significant period of time, as they may indicate infection.

For more on how to respond in the case of a dental emergency, or to learn about any of our general dentistry or emergency dentist services, speak to the staff at Canyon Rim Dental today.