Dental Emergencies


Broken teeth from hitting a fork.

Ideal treatment depends on the size of the fracture, from needing a veneer to simply filing down the sharp edge.

At home treatment:  you may use a nail file and smooth the sharp area.  If the break is large don’t smile J

How to avoid it: slow down and enjoy your food, be mindful of how you place your fork in your mouth

Broken front teeth from trauma.

Ideal treatment: repair of the broken tooth either by bonding back the piece of tooth,  a tooth color filling material, or crown depending on the extent of the fracture. In some cases it will need a root canal and crown.

At home treatment: use a nail file and buff the area.  If there is a large area broken and you recover the piece place it in milk or water. If you see blood in the middle of the tooth (not around the tooth) call Dr. Garcia-Rojas.

Broken teeth from biting something hard in your food.

Ideal treatment: can range from observation to needing a crown, root canal treatment to extraction.

At home treatment: avoid eating on the injured side and if symptoms ( lingering pain to temperature, spontaneous pain) develop call Dr. Garcia-Rojas.

Swelling of the gums next to the tooth.

Ideal treatment: removal of the irritant, most common is popcorn kernel shells, apple skin, seeds, etc. lodged under the gums.

At home treatment: floss, brush well, use tooth picks, water picks, warm salt water rinses and most importantly avoid these foods that can be an irritant since we can’t use ultrasonic cleaners at the moment to remove them.

Swelling of the gums away from the tooth.

Ideal treatment: x-ray and it can be an abscess due to an infection.

Treatment at home: call Dr Garcia-Rojas we may need to prescribe antibiotics.

 Pain next to ears or next to cheeks.

Treatment at the office: exam of the TMJ and the muscles of mastication

Treatment at home: make sure you keep your lips together and teeth apart, teeth should only touch while you are chewing. Many patients are stressed and may be clenching or grinding their teeth. Eat a soft diet, it does not need to be a liquid diet. You may use cold and warm compresses alternating 20 minutes on and off. You should continue with whichever makes you feel better at least three times per day.

Pain that is temperature related

Treatment at the office:  determine what causes the sensitivity and how much the tooth is sensitive, x-ray and decide treatment.

Treatment at home: if tooth ache is tolerable take some over the counter pain medication, if the pain goes away when not exposed to hot or cold. Avoid hot and cold foods and liquids. If pain lingers after the tooth has cooled down or warmed up call Dr Garcia-Rojas

Loose crown

Treatment at the office: x-ray, determine if there is decay, if it came out due to chewing sticky candy, caramel or similar foods, or if it loosen up with floss.

Treatment at home: get a temporary reglue/repair kit at the pharmacy to glue your crown back, follow the directions carefully.

How to avoid it: do not eat sticky candy, caramel or similar foods

Broken dentures or appliances

Treatment at the office: send the appliance to the lab to be fixed.

Treatment at home: be careful not to drop dentures or dental appliances. Do not bite down on hard things that can break dentures. Unfortunately we don’t have access to local labs for a while and it would take time to have them shipped and repaired in other labs away from the area.


In general the best you can do at this time is to have a healthy diet, try to walk around as much as possible, have fresh air either by going outside for walks (keeping 6 feet distance with other people if you encounter someone on your walk) or opening windows, sleep 8 hours, constantly drink plenty of fluids (avoid carbonated drinks so you do not get sensitive teeth or beginning of cavities) and meditate, pray or find a way to relax and utilize this time to reconnect with family and friends via phone, Facetime, etc. This is also a good time to organize our house, read, recharge and appreciate everything around us.

We are here for you and we want to make sure we take care of you, this simple prevention tips will help you avoid unnecessary discomfort.

 During this time we want to express our appreciation to all of you, our patients, and wish you to have a relaxing and productive time with family and more importantly we wish you to stay healthy!


Prompt Emergency Dental Treatment in Mill Valley

Emergency and After Office Hours:

Dental emergencies are never convenient or timely. However, our office is committed to our patients' dental health no matter the time of day or night. If you are a current patient and have a dental emergency after regular office hours, please call us at (415) 388-6100. If you are not a current patient but you were referred by one of our patients, call us as well. If you found us on this website please call the Marin County Dental Society at (415) 472-7974 to find the appropriate dentist on call.

Knocked-Out Tooth

  • Hold the tooth by the crown and, if it is dirty, gently rinse the root of it in water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently reinsert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk or inside the patient's cheek. There are emergency tooth preservation products available. However, the sooner you can take these actions the better, because they will help keep the small attachment fibers on the root of the tooth alive. Look for an emergency tooth preservation product with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Get to the dentist as quickly as possible, preferably within an hour. Don't forget to bring the tooth with you.

Broken tooth

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Place cold compresses on the face to reduce swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.

Possible Broken Jaw

  • Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught Between Teeth

  • Gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If you are not successful, go to the dentist.  Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.


  • Clean the mouth by rinsing it with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food that may be trapped between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

  • Clean the area gently with a cloth and use cold compresses to keep the swelling down. If the bleeding is excessive or does not stop within a short period of time, go to the dentist or a hospital emergency room. 

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

(415) 388-6100

10 Willow Street, Suite 6
     Mill Valley, CA 94941