Dental Emergencies Overview

Dental Emergencies 

Family Dental Care in Hixson, TN

At Tennessee River Dental, we are committed to helping each and every one of our patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. As a premiere dental practice serving adults, children, and families in the Hixson area, we're proud to provide high-quality dental care to patients and work with them to help them achieve the smile of their dreams. Dental care is a holistic process, and while the majority of the work we do is focused on preventative, cosmetic, or restorative care, sometimes, dental emergencies can come up. While rare, these are few of the most common problems that can qualify as dental emergencies – so read on to find out what to do if you experience a dental issue or emergency.


A toothache is a common problem, and while it's often temporary, it may signify a cavity or other problem. If you're experiencing a toothache, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to soothe gum tissue and displace any food particles in the mouth. You can also apply a cold compress to the area if you're having swelling, and acetaminophen or ibuprofen are both good for temporary pain relief – but avoid using aspirin. If a toothache doesn't subside after a day, call us, and if you're ever having trouble breathing or swallowing, head straight to the emergency room.


Most cuts and bites to the mouth are minor and stop bleeding almost immediately, but if the bleeding is a nuisance, you can use sterile gauze to apply pressure to the area until it stops. If the bleeding continues for more than 15 minutes, go to the emergency room.


A broken tooth is a more serious condition, so you'll need to act accordingly. Pick up and keep any fragments of the tooth that you can, then rinse the area out with warm water and place a cold compress over on the face over the area of the injury. Call us immediately.


This is another serious problem. First, recover the tooth (if possible), being sure to hold it by the crown instead of the root (meaning hold it by the area that's normally exposed. Rinse it off, and if possible, reinsert it into the socket and hold it in with a piece of gauze. If you can't do that, carry it in milk or saliva. Call us immediately.


This is the most serious condition on this list. Tie your mouth closed with a towel, tie, or handkerchief, but avoid putting undue stress on the area that might be broken. Head straight to the emergency room. After you've been treated, have your doctor call us to brief us on the situation.


Bleeding after losing a baby tooth is normal and usually nothing to worry about. Place a clean, folded piece of gauze or cloth over the area and bite down for 15 minutes.


Canker and cold sores are basically harmless, although they can be a nuisance. You can use over the counter pain medications to deal with discomfort. If the sores are causing a more serious problem, go ahead and give us a call.

Call Your Hixson Family Dentist if You Have Questions

While most dental problems aren't urgent or serious, sometimes, major dental emergencies can arise. If you have more questions about how to handle a dental emergency or have a problem that's not listed on this page, call us at 423-877-3848. If you have a non-urgent question or want to come in for an appointment, you can reach out to us at our contact page or request an appointment online at our Hixson, TN office. And remember – if you're ever in doubt about the severity of an emergency, always err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room. While it may turn out to be fine, it's true what they say: better safe than sorry!