A dental emergency is any issue surrounding teeth and their surrounding structures that have to be
treated by a professional immediately. While pain is the most common signal of something going wrong,
it doesn’t necessarily occur in a dental emergency.
Assessing your pain level helps you decide whether or not to make that emergency phone call.
Pain Level 1-3
This pain is minor and you can wait to schedule an appointment.
Pain Level 4-6
This is moderate pain that interferes with your daily life. See your dentist as soon as you can.
Pain level 7-10
This pain is serious and can hamper you from conducting your life. Call your dentist immediately.
What Is The Most Common Dental Emergency?
Listed below are the most common occurrences which warrant emergency dentistry.
If you’re ever experienced toothache, you understand that it can be extremely uncomfortable.
Toothaches arise in various situations –
An infected tooth, particularly those involving the root canal
Impacted or erupting teeth, wisdom teeth being the most common
If you have a severe toothache along with swelling, draining of pus, or difficulty in breathing or
swallowing, you probably have a chronic infection. And you should waste no time in calling your
Until you can visit your dentist, take an over-the-counter painkiller to help the pain subside.
Additionally, doing warm saline rinses also alleviates the pain and swelling. Simply mix a teaspoon of salt
in lukewarm water. Rinse and repeat.
If painkillers don’t help relieve the toothache, pick up the phone and schedule an emergency
appointment with your dentist ASAP.
Tooth That Has Been Knocked Out
Believe it or not – loss of a tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies. This occurs due to
trauma to the face or even due to an infection.
If your tooth falls out, pick it up by the crown and not by the root to avoid damage to the tooth. Rinse it
gently with water and place it back into the socket. Avoid using a disinfectant to clean the tooth and
don’t scrub it whatsoever.
Hold it in place with light pressure with the help of a sterile gauze of a paper towel. Schedule an
emergency appointment as soon as possible.
In case you fail to reposition the knocked-out tooth, or if your appointment might take longer, dunk the
tooth into a glass of milk. Alternatively, you can also place the tooth in clean water. The key thing to
remember is time is of the essence in the case of tooth loss.
Tooth That Has Become Loose
In certain cases of trauma to the face and mouth, teeth can loosen within the socket. Tooth
displacements or avulsions are also pretty common when an erupting tooth applies excessive pressure
to the adjacent tooth. Such situations can add a lot of discomforts.
If you experience your tooth loosen, reposition it gently by holding the crown. Place sterile gauze on top
and bite down gently. Call an emergency dentist immediately because any delay can lead to the tooth
drying out. This, in turn, results in cell death, leaving the tooth non-vital.
Trauma to the face can lead to damaged hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity. As a result, one can
experience cracked, chipped, or even broken teeth. Moreover, cuts and bruises are also visible. Such a
condition causes intolerable pain, discomfort, and possible bleeding that can be hard to control.
While a cracked tooth might not appear like an emergency, it is important to get it looked at by a
dentist. If you experience bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with paper towels and call your dentist.
If you can’t get in touch with your dentist, head to an ER.
In case of a knocked-out or loose tooth, you know what to do.
Is A Cavity Considered A Dental Emergency?
While a dental cavity might not appear bothersome, it can become a dental emergency without timely
intervention. Painless cavities can progress and become extremely painful, failing to experience relief
even with painkillers.
When a tooth infection worsens, it can lead to a dental abscess. This is a severe and potentially life-
threatening situation. Abscesses may cause –
Tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures
Facial swelling – intra-oral or extra-oral
Tender lymph nodes
A pimple-like bump on the gums near the tooth with the abscess
If not looked at immediately, the infection can spread to the surrounding spaces including the jaw and
other areas of the body. While you’re waiting for the dentist to see you, constantly rinse your mouth
with lukewarm water mixed with salt. This will help reduce the pain and also draw the pus out.
What Is A Non-Urgent Dental Emergency?
Non-urgent dental emergencies are situations that don’t necessarily require immediate intervention.
Chipped Or Broken Teeth
If you’ve managed to chip or break a tooth and aren’t in unmanageable pain, don’t fret it. Schedule an
appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience to get it looked at.
Dental Work That Has Been Damaged
In certain instances, you might incur damage to your dental work. This can include –
Dislodged crown or bridge
Broken orthodontic wires
These problems don’t necessarily constitute a dental emergency. However, they can be extremely
uncomfortable. You might feel –
sensitivity due to the dislodged prosthesis
speech and chewing issues owing to the broken denture
pain and poking of the dental wire
Keep the damaged appliance safe and schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Bleeding When Brushing Or Flossing
Experiencing bleeding when you brush or floss is a pretty common issue. But it’s nothing you have to
worry about. While it can be jarring, unless it’s extreme and uncontrollable, you can bring it up on your
next dental visit.
Here’s a tip – bleeding is a sign that you should floss more regularly.
If you experience any kind of dental discomfort, don’t hesitate to call Norwood Dental. Our fantastic
team takes same-day dental emergency appointments to help you get back into tip-top shape. And just
because it isn’t an emergency, doesn’t mean it isn’t important! Call us at (952) 467-3518 to schedule
your appointment at the earliest.