Emergency Dental Treatment

The Southern Smiles Team is dedicated to relieving your dental pain as quickly and comfortably as possible.  Dental emergencies can be serious, so we urge you not to ignore your teeth and gums.  Preventative care will greatly reduce the likelihood of a dental emergency arising, saving you money, time, and possible pain.  If you do, however, experience a dental emergency call our office as soon as possible (985-641-4005).  We will see you the same day and do everything we can to relieve your pain and manage your emergency situation.  We have included information on how to manage common dental emergencies so you can be more prepared when you visit our office.



First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.  Take over the counter pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or Tylenol) to manage discomfort.  See your dentist as soon as possible.

Chipped or broken teeth

Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth

Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. Put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.

Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth

See your dentist right away. Until you reach your dentist’s office, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (like Tylenol or Advil) if needed.

Lost Filling

As a temporary measure, use an over-the-counter dental cement or wax and place a piece into the void where the restoration was, filling the empty space.  In a pinch, sugarless gum maybe used to fill the area (sugar-filled gum will cause pain). Never, under any circumstances, should you crush up Aspirin and use it to fill the space where the filling was.  See your dentist as soon as possible.

Lost crown

If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away, if possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!

Broken Braces Wires

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist’s office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs. See your orthodontist as soon as possible.

Loose Brackets & Bands

Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it replaced.  See your orthodontist as soon as possible.


Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, as the infection can possibly spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible. You may experience a pimple-like swelling on your gum and/or bad taste in your mouth as well.  In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water) several times a day.

Soft-tissue Injuries

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:

  • Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution
  • Use a moistened piece of gauze or black tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 40 minutes.
  • To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 20 minutes.
  • If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.

Southern Smiles Family Dentistry
102 Smart Place Slidell, LA 70458
(985) 641-4005