Man with toothacheThere’s something about head pains and injuries that makes them particularly distressing and painful. Ears, eyes and mouths all seem to hurt more intensely than other parts of our bodies. In fact, toothache can become so unbearable so quickly that you can find it hard to push it aside and think about other things. What's more, if you break or knock out a tooth, you may quickly find yourself in a panic.

Don’t panic

If you find yourself in a dental emergency, the first thing to do is try and avoid the panic that the shock can cause. Try slowly breathing in and counting to 10 before you breathe out. Do this 10 times and you should feel calmer. While you do it, remember that you can go to see an emergency dentist, and chances are, they will be able to put things right. In Edinburgh, The Polwarth Dental Clinic guarantees same-day emergency care for no more than £70.

Have an emergency dentist to hand

Dental emergencies don’t take any notice of schedules, so it’s a good idea to be on the books of an emergency dentist.

The first priority of all emergency dentists is to stop the pain. But pain can often be symptomatic of a deeper problem that needs more than one appointment. If you have severe toothache, the dentist may find that the pain comes from an infection inside the tooth. A complete cure may require root canal treatment.

Knocked out teeth

When you have a tooth knocked out, there are certain steps you need to follow. If you still have the tooth, don’t touch the root. Carefully pick it up by the crown, clean it with saliva and, if you can, put it back in the socket, using your other teeth for guidance.

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If you manage to get it back in, bite on a clean paper towel for 15–20 minutes, and call the emergency dentist. If you can't get it back in, put the tooth in a clean container covered in milk and bring it with you. The dentist can often place the tooth back in the socket.