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Unexpected dental problems, from inexplicable sudden tooth pain to an accidental blow to the jaw that knocks your teeth loose, aren’t just inconvenient and painful, but dangerous to your oral and overall health.

But when do dental or tooth issues become severe enough to see an emergency dentist? In this guide we’ll take you through some of the most common scenarios, and what you should do about them.

As always, whenever in doubt, give us a shout. Our team is here to help, and you needn’t suffer in silence.

Common Dental Emergencies and When You Need to See an Emergency Dentist

Tooth pain is your body’s way of signaling for help. In some cases, putting it off can lead to serious complications requiring additional treatment.
From a sensitive tooth to a lost crown, no ‘emergency’ is too trivial for you to give us a call.

Broken, Chipped, or Cracked Tooth

While a small chip may not be considered an emergency, larger chips, cracks, or broken teeth can be quite serious and require emergency care. There are many common day-to-day activities that could result in a broken or chipped tooth. An accident or fall could seriously damage a tooth. Chewing on harder foods or ice could also be to blame. It’s important to try to avoid eating anything that may damage your teeth, but if damage does happen it’s best to get help from a professional as soon as possible.

If the chip or crack has penetrated past the enamel coating on your tooth, you’re looking at a serious situation. These types of breaks can cause severe pain and lead to further damage if left untreated. The best thing you can do is rinse your mouth with clean water, then apply a cold compress to the impacted area and take an anti-inflammatory to reduce the inflammation and alleviate the pain.

Please note: these measures are only good for temporary relief until you can get into our office for emergency care.


An abscess is an infection of the area between the root of a tooth and the gums. An abscess will usually result in a painful bump on your gums. If you suspect you have an abscess, it’s extremely important to seek proper care as soon as possible by giving us a call or stopping by the office. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, causing sepsis (a toxic and fatal condition!).

While waiting to see your oral health care provider, rinse your mouth regularly with warm salt water (using high-quality sea salt is preferable to table salt). This will help relieve the pain and reduce the pus.

Knocked-out Tooth

If one of your teeth gets knocked out, it may be possible to save it if you give us a call and act quickly! It is sometimes possible to re-insert the tooth into the socket. If you can reinsert it yourself, do so but always make sure it is clean first. Hold it in place as best as you can until you can make it to our dental office. If you’re not able to reinsert the tooth, keep it in some milk. A knocked-out tooth can usually be saved only if properly reinserted in 2 hours or less.

If the tooth is unable to be saved, several options can be explored for replacement. Dentures, bridges, and dental implants may all be viable options. Our knowledgeable staff can go over your best course of action and help you come up with the right choice given your circumstances.

Tooth or Mouth Pain

Toothaches and mouth pain can be caused by a variety of things. It could simply be an issue of something being lodged in your teeth. However, it could also be an indicator of a larger problem such as an abscess.

If you experience sudden tooth pain, the first thing you should do is rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. You can then use floss to remove any food particles that may be stuck in your teeth causing discomfort.

If you’re still experiencing pain there may be a bigger issue at bay. Schedule an appointment with your oral care professional as soon as you can. In the meantime, you can use a cold compress on your face to relieve the pain. Applying pain medication directly to the gums isn’t recommended as it can result in tissue damage.

Don’t ignore sudden pain, swelling, or discomfort: no emergency is too small or trivial to compromise your health!

If you find yourself suffering from any sudden pain or trauma to your teeth, mouth, or gums, don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly and experienced team today. Give us a call at any time and we will get you the earliest possible emergency dental appointment.