Dentist Tips for Immediate Treatment of an Injured Tooth

Our amazing teeth are so strong and with good reason: there’s more to the tooth than what our natural eyes can see when we look at the teeth in the mirror. We wake up, brush, rinse and get them ready for another daily grind of eating, chewing, and drinking... 365 days a year!  

The tooth is comprised of four types of tissue: pulp, dentin, enamel, and cementum. The pulp is the soft tissue found at the center of the tooth and where the nerves and blood vessels are found. The dentin is a yellow hard substance found under the enamel, comprised of tubes that lead to the pulp. The enamel is the outer layer of the tooth, the hardest part of the human body. The cementum is a hard, connective tissue that covers the tooth root, which houses the root canal that contains the pulp. The cementum works with the gums to hold the tooth in the jawbone.

All that good stuff – so we can eat, drink, and be merry — and then, seemingly without warning, injury can strike that amazing tooth! When a tooth is injured, a dentist needs to be contacted sooner rather than later – here are a few dental tips for the immediate treatment of an injured tooth to hold you off until you can see your normal dentist.


A toothache is usually the result of decay that breaks through the enamel of the tooth and creates a cavity. To try and ease the pain, gently dislodge any food particles with dental floss, rinse the mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of the cheek if the mouth feels swollen. Aspirin or pain-killers can also be taken to lighten the pain until seeing a dentist.

Tooth abscess

An abscess is a serious infection around the root of the tooth or between the teeth and gums and requires the care of a dentist immediately as this infection can spread to other parts of the body or damage mouth tissue and surrounding teeth. To relieve the pain that is part of an abscess and draw the pus to the surface, mix ½ teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water – do not swallow the salt water, spit it out after rinsing.

Chipped or cracked teeth

In the immediate moment of such a dental emergency, try and save the piece or pieces of the injured tooth, rinse the broken pieces and bring them with you to your dentist ASAP. Rinse the mouth with warm water. If the injured tooth is bleeding, hold gauze to the area where the tooth was injured, this should stop the bleeding. A cold compress held on the outside of mouth, cheek or lip near the chipped or cracked tooth will relieve pain and keep swelling down.

Contact us immediately if you have a dental emergency

We will try to schedule you an emergency appointment and save your injured tooth while relieving your pain. Do not delay if you are experiencing any of these problems.


Request a dental appointment here: or call John M. Chaves, DDS at (818) 473-1134 for an appointment in our Woodland Hills dental office.

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