Tips to Minimize Your Dental Emergency

When you face a dental emergency, such as a cracked or suddenly painful tooth, your first thought should be to visit your emergency dentist’s office as soon as possible. In the meantime, however, protecting your tooth (if possible) and minimizing discomfort (if any) might be the main priority. With a few tips from your Southlake dentists, Drs. Wright and Heron, you can boost your chances of making it through a dental emergency with most of your healthy tooth structure intact.

First: Is It an Emergency?

A dental emergency can mean many things—damage, discomfort, or complete avulsion (when a tooth is knocked out), to name just a few—but most are considered emergencies because immediate treatment is vital to saving the tooth. Common conditions that constitute a dental emergency can include;

  • Sudden, severe tooth pain
  • A cracked or fractured tooth, often due to traumatic impact or habitually grinding your teeth
  • A broken or failed dental restoration, such as a dental filling
  • A loose tooth
  • A partially or completely knocked-out tooth

Control the Discomfort

  • To ease the aching of a dental emergency, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm salt water and apply an ice pack to the side of your mouth that hurts. The cold will also help reduce excessive swelling.
  • If the tooth is bleeding, apply a clean, damp piece of gauze and gently bite down on it to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.
  • If your tooth is cracked or broken, collect the pieces, if possible, and rinse them as well as your mouth with warm water. Bring the collected pieces with you to your emergency dental visit.
  • If the tooth is knocked loose, try to hold it in place with gentle bite pressure and call our office immediately. If the tooth is completely knocked out, collect the tooth, rinse it, and place it in a small container of milk until you can reach our office for treatment.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.