School of Dental Medicine
Call 911 in case of life-threatening emergency.
Some dental emergencies require immediate care. For serious injuries to the head and jaw, call 911 and go to an emergency department as quickly as possible.
Other common dental emergencies
Knowing how to treat dental emergencies is very important, and can sometimes mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
Bitten lips or tongue: Clean the area with a cloth. If there is continued bleeding, visit the emergency department.
Broken or cracked teeth: Call your dentist immediately, especially if there is pain.
Hurt tooth or toothache: There can be many causes for toothache. While some are not serious, others can signal a problem requiring immediate care. Sometimes rinsing the mouth or flossing will remove caught food or seeds from between the teeth. Chronic decay can cause pain and abscesses, an infection that must be treated.
Tooth that is knocked out: Hold onto the tooth by its top, or crown. You may rinse off the tooth’s root in water gently, but avoid scrubbing or removing the attached tissue. It may be possible to gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If not, place the tooth in milk and see your dentist immediately.
For other questions call the School of Dentistry's hospital dentistry program at 252-744-4618. Our dentists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency care.