Common Dental Emergencies

Dental Injuries and Emergencies- What to do when

Despite precautions, life happens. If your child faces a dental emergency, give us a call immediately 301-747-6543. If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number (240-308-8196), leave a voicemail and someone will call you back. We are always here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. You may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.

Broken or knocked out permanent tooth

Find the tooth or broken tooth fragments. If the entire tooth is knocked out, rinse the tooth gently without scrubbing, then attempt to re-insert it in the socket. If unable to re-insert the tooth, keep the tooth moist in a cup containing milk or water. Immediate dental attention is necessary. Book an appointment or walk-in to our clinic so Dr. Baliga can help.

Tips on avoiding Dental Injury

You can help your child avoid dental emergencies:

  • Child-proof your house to avoid falls.
  • Don’t let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods.
  • Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children.
  • If your child plays contact sports, have him or her wear a mouth guard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouth guard for your child.
  • Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.

Tooth chipped/cracked:

  • If there is a large chip with pain, try to come in soon to alleviate the pain.
  • If there is a small chip or crack with no discomfort, please visit your dentist in timely manner to get restorative treatment done.
  • Series of x ray are warranted to determine the pulpal health and treatment of the tooth over a period of time.
  • Sometimes a tooth is cracked or chipped in a way affecting the nerve of the tooth, and a more complicated treatment may be needed.

Tooth displaced:

  • If a tooth is moved due to trauma, and you can move it back into place gently without any discomfort then do so.
  • If there is any discomfort take OTC painkiller, apply ice if needed for lip/ face injury and visit you dentist as soon as you can.

Loose Tooth

If your child has a very loose tooth, try wrapping ice cube in a paper towel and gently press onto the gums for a minute to freeze it and then attempting to “twist and turn” to remove tooth. If unable to do so or the child is very fearful, please give us a call for an evaluation and its removal.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

If your child has a bitten lip or tongue severe enough to cause bleeding, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is.

Object Caught in Teeth

If your child has something caught between his or her teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.


Clean and floss the area around the sore tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water, inspect teeth to ensure nothing caught between them. If the face is swollen apply a cold pack. Take Tylenol or Ibuprofen orally as directed for pain and call Dr. Baliga as soon as possible. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums.

Broken Jaw

If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

Bleeding after a baby tooth falls out

Fold and pack a clean gauze and place over bleeding area. Have the child bite the gauze for 15 minutes. If bleeding persists call Dr. Baliga at 301-747-6543.