General Dental Recommendations

Chipped Tooth or Lost Filling

A sharp broken tooth can be smoothed with a nail file. You may notice food getting caught more often in or around the broken tooth and it may require extra brushing and flossing until it can be taken care of by a dentist. If it is in between your teeth, then temporary filling material can be used to fill in the gap. Most pharmacy stores carry temporary dental filling; follow the directions included with the product. Broken teeth are generally not painful unless the nerve is involved; let your dentist know if you are experiencing pain, swelling, or a pimple on your gums as the tooth may require more immediate treatment. 

Knocked-out permanent or adult tooth

For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.

Loose Crown

If you can feel that a crown is loose, try to gently remove it and then follow the directions below. You may be able to grab it with your fingers and lift off, if that doesn’t work then flossing can sometimes remove it. If you are unable to take the crown off, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and keep the area clean until a dentist can be consulted.

Dislodged Crown

To re-glue the crown, individuals can purchase crown cement from a pharmacy store. If this is not an option, toothpaste or denture adhesive can also be used. Clean the underside of the crown and tooth. Place the crown over the tooth to make sure you know which direction it needs to be to fit in place. Gently bite your teeth together to make sure that your bite feels normal. Place a small amount of adhesive on the underside of the crown, place it on the correct tooth and wait a few minutes for the material to set. Adhesive purchased at most pharmacy stores, will have detailed directions included that should be followed.

Cracked or Broken Denture

Denture chip / irritating area – If a small part of the denture has broken off and causing irritation to the mouth, a nail file or sandpaper can be used to smooth the sharp edges.

Denture breaks in half – Please do not attempt to repair at home since the pieces could improperly align and not be usable. Denture adhesive tape, which can be used to temporarily bind the two halves together, can be purchased at most pharmacy stores.

Denture Tooth Broken Off

Emergency denture repair kits are available at many pharmacies. Follow directions to fix a tooth or small break.

Untreated Cavities

Remove any food or debris that may get stuck in the cavity. Keep area clean with good oral hygiene, brush two times per day, and floss once per day. Schedule an appointment with your dental team to have cavities treated.

Sore Gums or Bleeding Gums while Brushing Teeth

Continue to brush and floss the area gently. Use warm saltwater rinses twice per day. Areas of trauma and irritation in the mouth typically heal in 7-10 days. If the area looks like a pimple on your gums or if it has not resolved in 7-10 days, call your dentist.


For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.


Southcentral Foundation Dental Clinic
4441 Diplomacy Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508

(907) 729-2000