Home Remedies

Any injury to the teeth or gums can certainly be painful, and potentially serious. Injuries should not be ignored, especially injuries concerning teeth and gums. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage, not to mention the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to do for some of the more common dental issues you may face unexpectedly.


First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food, you might be surprised to learn that many toothaches are caused by food particles caught between the teeth or below the gum line. If your mouth is swollen you should apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek to reduce swelling. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. Naturally, call your dentist as soon as possible and get it checked out.

Chipped or broken teeth

Save any pieces you can find. Then, rinse the mouth using warm water and rinse off any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding you should apply a piece of gauze to the area for a few minutes or until the bleeding stops. 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. If you broke or chipped a tooth and exposed the nerve you may need to be seen in an emergency situation. Call 772-335-3300 immediately. Even if you did not expose the nerve call our office and set up an appointment as soon as you can and get it checked out. Leaving a chipped or broken tooth unattended will cause problems down the road, you may wind up losing the tooth or needing extensive build up and restoration, including a crown.

Knocked-out tooth

Retrieve the tooth if possible and 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. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. 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 knocked out.

Extruded, or partially dislodged tooth

See our dentist right away. To relieve pain in the meantime, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Advil) if needed. Many patients report that taking 2 extra-strength Tylenol WITH 2 200MG Ibuprofen is a powerful painkiller for the teeth. While it’s not a good idea to take Tylenol and Ibuprofen together over a long period of time, it’s certainly okay (as long as you tolerate both drugs well) for the short term.

Objects caught between teeth

Try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. You might also try GUM Floss soft sticks. If you can’t get the object out you will need to 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, cause inflammation and make the problem much worse.

Lost 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. While this is certainly not a permanent solution it might work for a very short time, enough to get into the dentist office. Call our office as soon as possible.

Lost crown

If the 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 drug store 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. If your tooth had a root canal before the crown was applied you may not feel any discomfort, or very little. If, however, your tooth still has a viable root you may experience moderate to severe pain when losing a crown. In this case, an emergency office visit will probably be necessary.

Broken braces wires

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist’s office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.

Loose brackets and bands

Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it cemented back into place or replaced altogether, as well as having the missing spacers replaced.


Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus 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. An abscess can sometimes result in a root canal for the affected tooth.

Soft-tissue injuries

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding (not to mention causing severe pain), here’s what to do:
1. Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
2. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place
for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room.
Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.