Dental Emergencies

Whether you’ve got toothache or a broken filling, we understand that accidents happen. Dental emergencies can involve a range of scenarios. Accidents involving your mouth or teeth can result in cracks, chips, fractures or a knocked-out tooth, or an emergency could cause general toothache, jaw pain, infections, bleeding or swelling.


Westbrook House Dental Practice
Westbrook House Dental Practice, 6-8 West Street, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1BD


01635 017171

Opening Hours

Monday 8.30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday 8.30am – 5:00pm
Wednesday 8.30am – 5:00pm
Thursday 8.30am – 5:00pm
Friday 8.30am – 3:00pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Advice & Triage process

Any dental emergency can be potentially serious and should not be ignored.

Ignoring a dental problem, like an injury to the teeth or gums, can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later. Below you will find some common dental problems and a summary of advice for what you should do.

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First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek if your mouth is swollen. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. See your dentist as soon as possible.

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Chipped or broken teeth

First, save any pieces you can. Rinse your mouth with warm water together with any broken pieces.

If there's bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area until the bleeding stops. This can take around 10 minutes. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain.

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Knocked-out tooth

Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being dislodged.

In order to save your tooth you must retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth) and rinse off the tooth root with water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it's facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it's not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth.

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Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth

Contact us immediately. Until you can get to the Practice, to relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area.

Take over-the-counter pain relief if needed.

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Objects caught between teeth

First, try using dental floss to remove the object very gently and carefully. If you cannot get the object out, see your dentist. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.

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Lost Fillings or Crowns

If you have lost a filling, as a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

If a crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can't get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local pharmacy or in the spice aisle of your grocery store).

If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!

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Broken braces & wires

If a wire breaks, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to the Practice. Never cut the wire, as you could end up breathing it into your lungs or swallowing it.

If a bracket comes away from your tooth during treatment, please contact your orthodontist. Usually, the bracket will stay attached to the wire and can be left until your next appointment unless causing irritation. If the bracket does come away from the wire please keep it safe and bring it with you to your next appointment.

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An abscess is an infections that occurs between the teeth and gums or around the root of a tooth. An abscess can damage the gum tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. Because of the serious oral and general health problems that can result from an abscess, contact us as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful.

To ease the pain and draw the infection toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.

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Soft tissue injuries

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. Here's what to do to control the bleeding:

  • Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.

  • Use a wet piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • To both control the bleeding and relieve any pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • If the bleeding will not stop, contact us right away or go to a hospital emergency department. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.

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