Quick Dental Emergencies and How to Proceed

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of a tooth positioned next to a first aid kit.
November 2, 2022 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we believe that dental emergencies related to teeth or gum can be quite serious and can’t be ignored. If you ignore a dental problem at the moment, it may lead to permanent damage in the future. Let’s check out quick dental emergencies and how you should proceed.

The Emergencies

1. Toothaches – Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water when you have a toothache. To be safe, use dental floss or get rid of lodged food particles. If your mouth looks swollen, you may use a cold compress or ice pack on the outside of your cheek or mouth. While it’s tempting to put painkillers like aspirin against the gums during toothache, avoid it at all costs. Otherwise, it may burn the gum tissue and make the emergency even worse. While you hold a cold compress to your mouth, go to the dentist as soon as possible.

2. Knocked-out-tooth – Find the tooth that has been knocked out and hold it by the crown. It is the part of the tooth that is exposed in the mouth and stays above the gums. Rinse off the knocked-out tooth with water if it’s dirty and make sure not to scrub away any attached tissue fragments. Next, try to put the tooth back in place while making sure it’s in the right orientation. If it seems like you can’t put it inside the socket, don’t force it.

If there’s excessive bleeding from your mouth, use a gauge to control it. If the tooth can’t be placed in the socket, hold it in your mouth or put it in a glass container full of milk. If you can’t find milk, put it in a glass container with water and salt. Now rush to the dentist as soon as possible. There’s no need to lose hope for your knocked-out tooth. If your dentist is able to return the tooth back to the socket within one hour of the incident, you have the highest chance to save the tooth.

3. Chipped or broken tooth – If you have any broken or chipped teeth, save all the broken pieces. Rinse your mouth and rinse the broken pieces if they are dirty. If you’re bleeding from your mouth, use a clean gauge on your mouth for around 10 minutes or till you can stop the bleeding. Now, apply an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of the cheek or lip near the broken or chipped tooth to control the swelling and relieve pain. Collect all the broken pieces of the tooth in a container full of milk or salt water and visit the dentist as soon as possible.

4. Things caught between teeth – Always proceed with dental floss to get rid of items stuck between your teeth. Make sure that you wrap the dental floss around your fingers and use the gentle “C” motion to dislodge stuck particles or chunks between your teeth. If the dental floss isn’t working, you need to see the dentist immediately. Avoid using sharp objects like pins to poke out the stuck thing between your teeth. Those don’t just run the risk of scratching the tooth surface but can also severely injure your gum if you’re not careful.

5. Partially dislodged tooth – If you have a partially dislodged tooth, avoid disturbing or agitating it with your fingers or tongue. Instead, you need to see the dentist right away. If the pain is quite severe till you reach the dentist’s office, you can use the good old cold compress against your mouth or cheek. You may even stop by a pharmacy on the way and get an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol. Swallow the pain reliever and don’t put it against the gums where you feel most of the pain.

6. Lost crown – If the crown of the teeth falls off, save it, rinse it clean and book an appointment with the dentist. When you visit the dentist, bring the crown with you. If you can’t get a dentist appointment immediately and the tooth is causing pain, apply clove oil with a cotton swab to the affected area. You can pick up clove oil from any local drug store or even the spice aisle of the grocery store.

Since you can’t see the dentist immediately, you can try a bit of a DIY fix. Get an over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive from the local drug store and coat the inner surface of the crown with it before proceeding to put it back over the tooth. This can help hold the crown safely on your tooth temporarily till you visit the dentist.

7. Loose or broken braces and bands – Get some orthodontic wax and temporarily reattach the loose braces with it. You may also use the wax as a cushion over the braces. Now, go see your orthodontist. If you have a loose band, you need to save it and visit the orthodontist to get it recemented or replaced.

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a band or brace and pokes your cheek, gum or tongue, use the eraser head on the top of your pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If repositioning the wire seems difficult, cover the end of it with orthodontic wax or a small, folded piece of gauze till you visit the orthodontist’s office.

9. Soft tissue injuries – Soft tissue injuries may be related to the gums, lips, cheeks or tongue, and may result in bleeding. Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution and use a moistened piece of gauze to apply pressure to the bleeding area. After that, use a cold compress to relieve the pain and see the dentist right away. 


At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest that you use the above-mentioned tips to prevent an emergency from getting worse and see the dentist as soon as possible. If you’re doing sports, it’s always recommended to use face cages, mouth guards, helmets, or other protective equipment recommended for the sport to avoid injuries to your teeth or jaw.