Seven Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Seven Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Sep 01, 2022

Life throws curve balls at us all the time. Sometimes, the curveballs might come in the form of dental emergencies. Some require immediate dental care, and some require a few deep breaths and patience. If it’s an emergency, it’s always advised you know whether you should visit your dentist or should call or visit your local emergency room. Determining the severity and symptoms of your conditions will help you decide which way is the right one for you.

What is Dental Emergency?

A dental care emergency is anything but a dental routine. With dental emergencies, you’ll need immediate action to address the discomfort, severe pain, or trauma to your mouth that can cause bleeding and lacerations to your gums and fracture or dislodge teeth.

Some instances, such as chipped veneers, fillings, or broken dental appliances, don’t constitute an emergency when it’s extremely inconvenient.

Seven Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Some of the dental emergencies one can encounter include:


Pain in your tooth is never a good sign. The pain can indicate different conditions, including tooth decay. And although some toothaches can be managed without emergency treatment, certain signs like swelling requires urgent attention. You should avoid turning to common remedies like taking painkillers such as aspirin because contact with the affected gum might burn the tissue.

Instead, you should apply a cold compress to your cheek and call the dental clinic for emergency treatment.

Broken and Chipped Teeth

A broken or chipped tooth doesn’t just ruin your smile but also hurts. First, you should rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a piece of gauze to the bleeding area. Then, ensure you use a cold compress face on the part closest to the chipped or broken teeth to help reduce swelling and relieve pain. While seeking emergency care, your dentist in Wall Township will advise you to be conscious of biting down on crunchy and hard foods.

Knocked out tooth

As you handle a broken or chipped tooth, ensure you pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse off the dirty root. Otherwise, you should avoid removing and scrubbing attached tissue fragments.

Depending on how you’re injured, you might be able to put the tooth back in place, but carefully avoid pushing it to its socket. If you can’t put back the tooth into the socket, put it in a small cup with water or milk with a salt pinch. This helps preserve the tooth in time for emergency restoration at our dental office at Susan J. Curley DDS.

Lost Crown or Filling

Fillings and crowns restore teeth that were previously damaged back to their normal function and appearance. So when they break, you need to get treated immediately to avoid reinfection or further damage. You should try fixing them temporarily while waiting for emergency care. Try sticking a sugarless gum into your cavity and restoring the tooth to avoid damaging it.

Broken Orthodontics

Dental braces are hard because they are designed to withstand daily wear and tear with eating, chewing, or talking. But even though they are hard, they can still break or stick out and poke the gums and cheeks. This causes discomfort and can slow down or reverse progress in straightening and aligning the teeth.

When this happens, you should try pushing the broken wire into a more comfortable position. If this is impossible, try covering the exposed end with orthodontic wax, a piece of gauze, or a small cotton ball. Please don’t cut the wire to avoid swallowing it, no matter how uncomfortable it is.


Infections in your mouth, especially in the space between the gums and teeth, are serious. When left untreated, they spread to the gum tissue, surrounding teeth, and the rest of your body. If you’re unsure if it’s an abscess, look for a painful pimple-like swollen part in your gums. Then, ensure you call an emergency dentist near you for treatment and prevent worse oral health problems.

Bleeding and Pain after a Tooth Extraction

It’s normal to feel pain and bleed after tooth extraction; however, if it persists even after an hour, you should visit a walk-in dentist near you. In the meantime, you should place a thick gauze pad over the extraction area and apply pressure by biting the gauze.