Charlotte, NC, Family Dental Services  
(704) 394-3109

Dental Trauma Guide

Dental Emergencies

We understand that dental emergencies can be alarming, particularly when you feel unsure the measures to take.

For your peace of mind, below are several common dental emergencies and the first steps to take to mitigate any lasting damage. During normal business hours, one of our team members would be happy to take any questions you may have; just call us at (704) 394-3109. If you are calling after business hours, dial (704) 917-9597, and we will return your call within the following 24 hours. Charlotte Emergency Dental Clinic, at (704) 525-3939 or, will also be able to assist you.


Rinsing the mouth with warm water will cleanse the bothersome tooth and soothe the neighboring area. Impacted food is sometimes the cause of the ache; use floss to dislodge any bits of food that may be causing the pain.

Taking an over-the-counter pain medicine will help reduce discomfort, but do not place aspirin directly on the aching tooth. Call our office if the toothache continues. If the face begins to swell, administer a cold compress and call us immediately.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip, or Cheek

To minimize inflammation, place ice on the areas around the wound. Apply sterile cloth or gauze with steady pressure to minimize any bleeding. If the bleeding continues, contact Dr. Leary or the local hospital emergency room.

Permanent Tooth Knocked Out

If it can possibly be found, locate the tooth. Holding it by the crown, never the root, clean it with water if necessary. Do not clean the tooth with anything except water, and do not scrub or unnecessarily handle the tooth.

Try to reinsert the tooth into its socket, and then steady the tooth by biting on gauze, a napkin, or a towel. If the tooth cannot be reinserted into the socket, place it in a cup of milk for transport. If milk is unavailable, spit in a cup and transport the tooth in the saliva.

Time is crucial in these situations, and so it is essential to see the dentist as soon as possible. Time makes all the difference in whether the tooth can be saved. Make sure you bring the tooth!

Baby Tooth Knocked Out

Most of the time, these conditions are not severe and do not require treatment. However, if your child knocks out a baby tooth, contact us to discuss the situation.

Chipped or Fractured Permanent Tooth

Time is of the essence, so contact the dentist immediately. Quick treatment can save the tooth, prevent infection, and limit the need for additional dental treatment. If you can, locate any tooth fragments and bring them to the dentist. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and rinse the mouth with warm water to cleanse.

Chipped or Fractured Baby Tooth

Contact Dr. Leary to decide if there is a need for urgent treatment and to discuss appropriate care options.

Head Trauma

Immediately visit the nearest hospital emergency room.

Broken or Fractured Jaw

Do not allow the jaw to move, and visit the nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible.