6 Types Of Dental Emergencies You May Not Have Thought Of

We use our teeth every day of our lives. Even though they are vital to the health of our body, most of us don’t think about them except when it comes to daily brushing and flossing. But dental emergencies do happen! When they do, prompt medical attention is sometimes required to save a tooth or repair the damage before it gets worse.

woman seeing an emergency dentist for a toothache

A dental emergency can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s good to be prepared and know how to handle any major issues with your teeth. Here are some common dental emergencies and tips on what to do:

1. Severe Toothache

Tooth pain may not seem like an emergency. However, an ongoing or severe ache could signify something more serious. Visiting a dentist’s urgent care or emergency dental office may be necessary to identify the underlying issue.

If you have a toothache that won’t go away, consider these steps:

  1. Rinse the mouth with warm water, and clean out debris (a saltwater or hydrogen peroxide rinse may also help relieve pain).
  2. Gently floss the problem area.
  3. If something is stuck between teeth or in the mouth, carefully try to remove it.
  4. If pain lasts for more than 2-3 days, schedule a dentist visit.

Sometimes a tooth needs to come out right away to prevent the spread of infection and relieve the pain. In that case, it’s essential to see an emergency dentist as soon as you can.

If you have issues with a painful tooth, we can help get to the root of the problem. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

2. A Broken or Chipped Tooth

A cracked, broken, or chipped tooth can be very painful and often lead to other issues if left untreated. Here are some steps you can take immediately after your tooth chips or cracks:

  • Rinse the mouth with warm water and keep the area clean.
  • Use a cold compress on the face to keep swelling down.
  • Get to a dentist as soon as you can.

When it comes to fixing a damaged tooth, prompt action should be taken. The sooner a dentist can deal with the problem, the more likely it can be fixed.

male with a chipped tooth

3. Knocked-Out Tooth

If a permanent tooth gets knocked out, it can be a jarring experience. However, it’s extremely important to try to keep the tooth moist. This can be done in several ways:

  1. Without touching the tooth’s root, place it back in the socket
  2. Place it in between your cheek and gums
  3. Place it in a glass of milk, saline, or clean water

Most importantly, get to a dental clinic right away and see if an emergency dentist can save the tooth. You should also do your best to stop any bleeding and keep the affected area clean until you see a medical professional.

4. Abscess or Infection

An abscessed tooth1 happens when a pocket of pus appears in or around the tooth due to an infection. Pain can begin at the tooth and, in severe cases, radiate out to the face, neck, or ears. Common types of abscesses include:

  1. Periapical abscess – Located at the tip of the tooth’s root
  2. Periodontal abscess – Located on the gum next to the root and may also spread the surrounding bone and tissue
  3. Gingival abscess – Located on the gums

patient getting abscessed tooth removed by emergency dentist

5. Broken Braces or Orthodontic Equipment

Oral health can get tricky with braces and a mouth full of equipment. Orthodontic parts can break or fall out, sometimes even causing an injury inside the mouth. Unless it’s severe, you can usually schedule a regular appointment with your orthodontist to fix the break.

However, you should see your dentist immediately if the damaged braces are causing painful irritation, bleeding, inability to eat or speak, or are likely to cause injury or a choking hazard if not fixed right away.

Here’s what you can do in the meantime until you see an emergency dentist:

  • Assess the damage – See what broke so you can let your orthodontist know, and you can try to avoid any more damage to that area.
  • Tuck away the loose wire – Prevent sores or injury inside your mouth.
  • Make an appointment – Call your dental office as soon as you notice broken orthodontics. Depending on what broke, other brackets or wires may also come off.

If you play sports, wearing a mouthguard is usually recommended to protect your braces from damage or injury to your mouth.

young girl experiencing pain due to a braces issue

6. Lost Filling or Crown

Losing a filling or crown can often leave your sensitive nerves and dental pulp exposed, which can cause radiating pain and lead to an infection. When you’re experiencing pain after losing a crown or dental filling, it should be fixed as soon as possible.

If you notice that a filling or crown has come out:

  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Make sure you don’t swallow the filling or crown.
  • If you must eat, only chew on the side of the mouth that is not affected.
  • Try to save the crown, which your dentist may be able to replace.
  • See your dentist to assess and repair the damage.

A missing crown or filling may leave your tooth open to elements such as hot and cold liquids or foods that cause extra sensitivity. Be careful with it until you can be seen by a dentist and get the problem resolved.

We are ready to help with dental emergencies that come your way. Contact our experienced dentists today to find a location near you.

What Types Of Accidents Need Help From An Emergency Dentist?

Generally, emergency dental work2 is usually only needed if a tooth is knocked out, chipped, there is an abscess, or you have a toothache that has lasted more than a few days. Additionally, dental emergency care is crucial if you notice any of the following symptoms with dental issues:

  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Pain when biting
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Foul discharge or pus
  • Abnormally red or bloody gums

woman experiencing pain and swelling so she is getting emergency dental care

Emergency Dental Services Near Me

When you experience a dental emergency, there may be a lot of questions running through your mind:

  • Where can I go to get urgent care?
  • Where is the closest emergency dental office?
  • Are there dentists for emergency dental extraction near me?

If you’re looking for excellent dental emergency care, we’ve got you covered. Here at Absolute Dental, we are equipped to deal with most emergency patients so you can get the help and relief you need for a sudden dental emergency. With several locations across Nevada, you’re always close to a professional dentist if you need emergency dental work.


1Frank, C. (2 July 2019). Abscessed Tooth: What You Need to Know. Healthline. Retrieved 18 February 2022.

2Mouth Healthy. Dental Emergency. American Dental Association (ADA). 18 February 2022.

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