Dental Emergency - What Can I Do?

by Dr Anthony Hua

If you have ever experienced severe dental pain, a fractured tooth or bleeding from your mouth, understanding what you can do during a dental emergency can help to reduce panic and stress.

Dental emergencies can happen when you least expect them, can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. It can be described as an event that leads to your mouth or teeth being seriously damaged or left in significant pain and discomfort. These situations can include teeth being cracked, broken or knocked out, damage to existing dental work or cuts to the inside areas of your mouth. If you are experiencing any significant pain or discomfort in your mouth without an obvious cause, treat this as a dental emergency as well. Ignoring a dental emergency can increase the risk of irreversible damage and the need for more extensive and expensive treatment.

Find an Emergency Dentist in Your Area

Preventative measures are important to help minimise dental emergency occurrences. Have a comprehensive examination, any treatment required planned and completed before conditions worsen and make sure you stick with your regular 6 monthly dental hygiene visits. All these measures can help minimise the likelihood of you experiencing and requiring treatment for a dental emergency. Speak with your regular dentist to learn what emergency dental services they offer and make sure they are kept up to date with any medical or dental history changes you may have.

As a comprehensive and emergency dentist in Gold Coast, Burleigh Dental Studio provides effective and responsive dental care to minimise pain and treat a wide variety of emergency situations. With advanced equipment including 2D OPG and 3D CBCT imaging scans onsite, we can diagnose and address your dental emergency efficiently. While bookings are normally essential, if you contact us by 12 pm, our team will do their best to schedule you a same day emergency appointment.

Create an Emergency Dental Kit

Invest in an emergency dental kit, and this can help you manage a dental emergency while you arrange to see your dentist for an emergency appointment. This simple kit should contain all the essentials:

  • Contact details of your dentist
  • Sterile gauze
  • Small container
  • Instant cold pack
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen as directed by your General Practitioner

How do I Temporarily Manage These Issues?

It is important to organise a visit to your emergency dentist as soon as possible, to help minimise the chance of ongoing or irreversible damage to your teeth or mouth. In the meantime, there are some measures you can take to help manage and stabilise your emergency dental situation. 

Broken, chipped or fractured teeth

Depending on the severity, this can cause discomfort and sharpness to your tongue and other soft tissue areas. Try to save any broken pieces as this can sometimes be useful to your emergency dentist. Rinse your mouth using warm water and if there is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for 20 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth, cheek or lip near the broken tooth to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

At Burleigh Dental Studio, we recommend professional mouthguards be worn by anyone participating in contact sports. Your dentist can help fabricate a custom-made mouthguard to perfectly mould to your teeth, providing maximum protection against fractures whilst still ensuring comfort and phonetics.



Firstly, rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food or debris that may be lodged around the sore tooth. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek.

Knocked-out or extruded tooth

If you have had an accident and your tooth has been extruded (partially dislodged), see your emergency dentist immediately. Until you reach the dental practice, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek in the affected area.

If the tooth has been completely dislodged, retrieve the tooth and make sure to only hold it by the crown (the part usually visible in the mouth) and rinse off the tooth root with water – only if it is dirty. Avoid scrubbing away any attached soft tissue. Gently try to reposition the tooth with very light finger pressure. If this is not possible, place it between your cheek and gum to keep it moist or store the tooth in a small container of milk (or salt water, if milk is not available).

In both cases, schedule an emergency dental appointment immediately. Knocked-out or extruded teeth have the highest chance of being saved if seen and treated by your dentist within 1 hour of being traumatised – do not delay.



An abscess is an infection that occurs around the root of a tooth or in the space between your tooth and gums. These infections are serious and can damage your soft tissue and surrounding teeth. If left untreated, they can potentially spread to other parts of your body. Because of the serious oral and general health risks that can result from a tooth abscess, see your emergency dentist as soon as possible to have this condition treated.

Soft-tissue injuries

Wounds and cuts to the soft tissues such as your tongue, lips, cheeks and gums can result in bleeding. To help manage the bleeding, rinse your mouth with salt water and place a piece of gauze over the area for 20 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped. If the bleeding does not stop, see your emergency dentist or go directly to a hospital to have the condition assessed and treated.

Emergency Dentist in Gold Coast

A dental emergency can be unexpected and may lead to significant pain, discomfort, stress and panic. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, reach out to us at Burleigh Dental Studio on 07 5576 6208 – we are here to assess and treat your dental condition, alleviate pain and protect your teeth and mouth against further damage or infection.

dr anthony huaArticle by Dr Anthony Hua – Principal Dentist

Dr Anthony Hua is the Founder & Principal Dentist at Burleigh Dental Studio. His passion, expertise and dedication to the field of dentistry have been recognised by his achievement of Fellowship status with the Australian Society of Implant Dentistry (ASID) and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI).

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