Dental Emergencies

What do I do in an emergency?

Dental Emergency Tips from Riverside Dental Center

The most common dental emergencies are toothaches and teeth being knocked out. Most people will have to deal with at least one dental emergency in their lifetime, and many times knowing some simple tips on what to do in a crisis can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a costly and expensive surgery. Here are some things to look for to potentially intervene early and avoid an emergency:

Swelling: Swelling of your lips or gums, tongue or other areas of your mouth can cause severe consequences. Sometimes it can be a simple cause like food particles stuck in between your teeth or between your teeth and gums. Other times, more serious causes like cysts, infections and possibly oral cancer are at the root of the swelling, and early detection and examination by your dentist is crucial to avoiding complications down the road.

Pain: While taking a pain medication at home may cause the pain to go away, you should always consider that the cause of the pain should be checked out by a dentist as soon as possible. Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong, and before long a minor pain can become a major issue! Pain may mean you have an oral infection, which has a potential to be a life-threatening condition as it can spread to other parts of your body.

Knocked out teeth : A tooth that has been knocked out is referred to as "avulsed." This is probably the most common dental emergency, and this situation happens to more than five million people per year. The good news is many of these teeth can be saved and replaced by a dentist. It is crucial that you do not delay if your tooth is knocked out, because time is of the essence in getting it replaced and healthy. The longer it takes you to get to a dentist, the less chance the tooth has of being saved.

Risk Groups For Emergencies : There are many lifestyles that put you in the risk catagory for potentially having an emergency, and knowing what to do before hand is the key to keeping yourself safe. If you play sports, especially contact sports like football and boxing, Always wear protective guards for your mouth when participating in order to reduce your risks. However, simple daily activities can also cause an emergency. Many people break their teeth every year by chewing ice, or using their teeth to open packaging. Avoid these kinds of activities.


Treatment for dental emergencies starts before you get to the dentists office. You should take the following general precautions and actions before arriving:

If you are bleeding:
Go immediately to the hospital if you have excessive bleeding, suspect you have broken your jaw, or experience significant swelling

If you have lost a tooth: Keep the area in and surrounding the tooth or teeth clean and free of dirt and debris by rinsing with warm water. Also, put the tooth in milk or keep it in your mouth if possible.

If you have swelling: Apply cold compresses to control swelling.

In all cases of emergencies: The dentist will need to examine your teeth and gums to determine what happened. The dentist will also ask you questions about the incident that caused the problem, and will request information about your medical history. Only then can the dentist can then determine the treatment method that is correct for the emergency.


Dental emergencies require immediate attention from a dentist. If there is ever a question in your mind that you have a dental emergency, you should contact a dentist immediately.

Being prepared for dental emergencies before hand gives you the best chance of success. If you don't have a regular dentist, please feel free to keep our contact information in your wallet or purse so you can call quickly and get to our nearest location.

Our phone number is (951) 353-8454.

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Riverside Dental Center Office

4959 Arlington Avenue, Suite F
Riverside, CA 92504

Phone: (951) 353-8454