5 Types of Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

February 28, 2023

5 Types of Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them
5 Types of Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Everyone has gone through a dental emergency at some point. It's unplanned and uncomfortable, and no one wants to experience it. However, being prepared is the best thing to do, as these things can actually happen. You can't just panic and not know what to do. You'll just make things worse.


In this article, we'll look at the most common dental emergencies - and how to handle them. Understanding these situations and how best to respond can help ensure your health and safety when a crisis hits.



The most common type of dental emergency is a toothache, which can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. The cause can be anything from cavities to fractures, gum disease, or tooth decay. If you experience a toothache, it's essential to seek emergency dental services to determine the cause and to provide relief.


In the meantime, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress on the outside of your face for temporary relief. It's important not to put anything inside your mouth, like cotton swabs, toothpicks, or paper clips. Doing so can further irritate the affected area and increase your risk for infection.


Objects Trapped Between Teeth

Even though we are all aware that it is never a good idea to put anything in our mouths, objects sometimes find their way between teeth. This situation could be risky depending on how big or pointy the object is. So, to avoid any further accidents, it's essential to take the proper steps. You cannot just try to remove the thing out of panic.


The best thing you can do is to gently try to remove the object with dental floss or a water pick. While you can remove some parts or loosen them up, you still need to see a dentist to get the object entirely removed. Leaving it in increases your chance of getting an infection and further damages the tooth.


It's also possible that a small object may be under the gumline, which you can't simply remove with dental floss or a water pick. So it's advisable to visit your dentist as soon as possible. They can remove the thing securely and damage-free thanks to their equipment and expertise.


Knocked Out Tooth

The thought of a tooth being knocked out is frightening for most people. It's an emergency that needs an immediate response and proper care. When it happens to you, you need to act quickly if there is any hope of re-implanting the tooth.


The first thing to do when a tooth is knocked out is to locate it. If possible, pick it up by the crown and not the root. Gently rinse off any dirt or debris with milk or water. You should avoid scrubbing or squeezing the tooth as this may damage it beyond repair. Next, try to put the tooth back in its socket if you can do so without causing yourself more pain. If not, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water.


Then, call your dentist right away. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may be able to see your dentist within the hour. They will give you specific instructions on how to care for your tooth and what to do next.


Lost Filling or Crown

If you've lost a crown or filling, it's essential to prevent further damage to the affected tooth. If you can locate the crown or filling, it's best to bring it with you when you seek emergency dental care. If left untreated, the exposed area can become infected and cause more serious oral health issues.


While waiting for an appointment, you can apply clove oil or over-the-counter dental cement to the affected area. Simply put a few drops of the clove oil onto a cotton swab and apply it to the area for temporary relief. Dental cement can be applied directly to the affected tooth. But it should only be used until you can see your dentist.


Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can be a traumatic experience. One moment you're eating, and the next, your tooth is chipped or cracked. It's accessible to panic in this situation because it can feel like your entire world has been turned upside down.


But with some tips, you can ensure that your chipped tooth doesn't lead to long-term dental problems. You should first rinse your mouth with warm water, stop the bleeding, and then apply a cold compress to the affected area. It will help reduce swelling and pain. If you have any pieces of the tooth, try to save them because your dentist can possibly save them. Avoid eating or drinking anything until you're able to see your dentist.


Final Thoughts

No matter what kind of dental emergency you're dealing with, taking the necessary measures to protect your oral health is essential. With some quick action, you can help ensure that there is no long-term damage and that your smile stays healthy.


If you ever experience a dental emergency, don't hesitate to contact your dentist. They can provide the best advice and care so you can be back smiling and enjoying your life to the fullest as soon as possible.


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