What to Do When an Oral Emergency Happens

What to Do When an Oral Emergency Happens

At Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates, we have seen dental emergencies happen to anyone, anytime. We strive to help you with all of your oral care needs, so if you experience a dental emergency, please give us a call as soon as possible so we can get you in to address the problem. While you are waiting to be seen by our team, the following tips can help you save a tooth!

Cracked Tooth

If you bite into something only to discover that you may have cracked a tooth, you will want to rinse your mouth gently to remove any oral debris, including food particles. If you are experiencing swelling in the gum tissue around the affected tooth, you can apply a cold compress to your cheek where the fracture occurred. Make an appointment with our dentist as soon as you can.


If you have an aching tooth that does not let up, you can first, rinse your mouth with water to remove any debris. If food is still lodged between your teeth, you can use dental floss to (gently) remove it. If your toothache is caused by a mild infection, it may go away on its own. You can also rinse your mouth with a salt water solution to reduce swelling and inflammation. Simply stir a spoonful of salt in a cup of warm water until it dissolves and rinse with this solution so that it washes over the painful area.

Lost Tooth

If the unthinkable should happen and you lost a permanent tooth due to an accident or injury, you will want to preserve the tooth as best as you can before being seen to keep the tooth viable for possible implantation. The key is to keep the tooth (root) moist. You can place it in the socket or between your cheek and gums. Your saliva is a good protector of the tooth root. If you can’t keep it in your mouth, try placing it in a small container of milk, or if you have a tooth preservation product in your emergency kit, use that. Avoid handling the tooth by the root and handle it as little as possible and only by the crown.

Should an oral emergency happen and it is during office hours, please call us immediately 919-471-9106 to see when we can fit you in. If it is after hours, call us as soon as you can or if you need immediate care, visit your local emergency room. Remember, Dr. Desiree T. Palmer, DMD and our team in Durham, North Carolina, are here for you!

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