Most mouth and tooth injuries are not too serious. However, if there is a lot of bleeding or swelling the person may need your help until an ambulance arrives. If a person’s tooth has been knocked out, you might be able to help save it.

Quick help 

  • Call 111 for an ambulance if: 
    • The person is unresponsive or unconscious
    • There is a lot of blood or swelling making it hard for the person to breathe.
  • If there is a lot of bleeding or swelling around the mouth, but that isn’t making it difficult to breathe, the person needs to see a doctor.
  • If a tooth has been knocked out the person should see a dentist within 30 to 60 minutes to try to save the tooth.


What to look for

Bleeding: The person may be bleeding from their mouth, lips, tongue or where a tooth has been knocked out.

Pain: The person might have a pain in or near their mouth after being injured.

A broken or knocked-out tooth: The person’s tooth might have come out or be broken.

Swelling: The person might have swelling in their mouth or throat or around their face.

How you can help

  • Control any bleeding: Hold a clean tissue or cloth firmly against the injured area (inside the mouth or outside), or the hole where the tooth was, for at least 10 minutes to help stop the bleeding.
  • If a tooth has been knocked out:
    • Pick it up from the top, not the bottom (the root).
    • Wash the tooth in clean running water or ask the person to suck it clean. (They need to be careful not to swallow the tooth as this could cause choking).
    • Ask the person to hold the tooth in its usual place in their mouth if they can, if not put it in a small glass of milk. 
    • Tell the person to go straight to the dentist to try to save the tooth. 
  • If the bleeding happens after having a tooth out at the dentist:
    • Get the person to bite down on a clean pad covering the area where the tooth has been removed.
    • Ask the person to keep biting down on the pad for 20 minutes.
    • If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes call 111 for an ambulance.

If you have a person in urgent need of medical attention, call 111 now.  
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