Top Dental Emergencies that Warrant a Visit to the Dentist

Oral hygiene and a healthy mouth can help you ward off some medical disorders. Oral health is extremely important for an overall body health. Our teeth aren’t something we typically give too much thought to other than brushing and flossing on a regular basis. However, when you suddenly suffer from an unexpected toothache, it’s hard to focus on anything but the agonizing pain you are in. Toothache is one of the most common reasons people end up seeking an emergency dentist.

Here we’ll look at the top most common dental emergencies that require an appointment as soon as possible.


When it comes to pain, a toothache can be right up there with some of the most uncomfortable and severe pain you can experience. When your tooth is hurting it’s difficult to eat, drink, or focus on anything other than the pounding sensation in your mouth. As a first response, it’s a good idea to place an ice pack against your face without applying too much pressure. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve some of the pain. Next you will want to see a dentist as soon as possible. You might need to find an after-hours emergency dentist if the pain is happening outside the regular office hours.

There are all kinds of reasons your tooth may be hurting such as an impacted wisdom tooth (teeth), teeth grinding, a tooth abscess, gum disease, a chipped or damaged tooth, or tooth decay. Your dentist will be able to assess the situation and figure out the best course of treatment.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

While teeth are exceptionally strong, they aren’t immune to everything. From time to time an injury can leave a tooth broken (fractured), or chipped. This often leads to a fair amount of pain, but not in all instances. Sometimes the break or chip can be totally painless. Either way should always consult a dentist after a traumatic mouth injury.

The most common ways this injury happens is by falling, being hit in the mouth or face, or biting down on something too hard. If the chip is large enough and the nerve is exposed, it will hurt to eat or drink. Because this is a problem that won’t just remedy itself, it’s best to see the dentist right away.

Depending on how bad the chip or break is, a root canal may be necessary. For minor chips or cracks, a much less invasive treatment is required. An injured tooth can become extra painful with change in temperature. Evenbreathing through the mouth may become painful because of the movement of the air around the injured tooth surface. This sort of pain can be managed by covering the tooth.

A broken tooth can become extremely painful and an urgent treatment would be necessary. A painless broken tooth still requires oral examination by a professional dentist. The dentist can examine the tooth and the surrounding tissues and perform required treatments for the damaged nerves, teeth or oral tissues.

An immediate oral evaluation is also recommended when a tooth has become loose or driven up into the gum. In some cases, tooth break at the root and under the gum which is not visible.Your dentist can examine the root of the affected tooth using x-ray imaging.

A Tooth That Has Been Pushed and Driven into the Gum

If you cannot find a child’s knocked out tooth, you should check to see if the tooth is not pushed into the gum. If this is the case, you should make an emergency dental appointment, do not try to move the tooth and go to the dentist as quick as possible.

A Tooth That Has Been Knocked Out

This is one step further than a chip or a broken tooth, as certain injuries can cause a tooth to fall completely out. There are a couple of ways of dealing with this problem depending on whether the tooth is a baby tooth or an adult tooth. If it is a baby tooth that was knocked out, then just a simple exam by the dentist may or may not be enough. Through visual and X-Ray imaging, the dentist evaluates the health of surrounding nerves and tissues. If, however,the knocked out tooth was an adult permanent tooth, first aid should be provided and an immediate dental appointmentwould be necessary.

A permanent tooth that is entirely dislodged from the tooth socket has the best chance of recovery if it is reinserted within the first 20 minutes of the accident. Re-insertion should be avoided when the person has lost his or her consciousness. If the person is conscious, you can rinse the tooth with milk or water and try to re-implant the tooth into its socket using other teeth as your guide.

A knocked out adult tooth should be re-inserted into the tooth socket by holding the tooth from the white side of the tooth (the crown). Contact with the yellow side of the tooth (the root of the tooth) should be avoided. An adult knocked out tooth should not be re-inserted into the tooth socket if the person is unconscious. Here is a guide on how to deal with a knocked-out tooth.

If you managed to re-insert the tooth into its socket, you can hold it in the socket by biting on a clean piece of cloth or using a gentle finger pressure.

If you are not comfortable with re-insertion of the tooth for some reason, you can keep the tooth moist until you get to the dentist by placing the tooth in skim milk or saliva, e.g. keeping the tooth in the corner of your mouth. You can alternatively wrap the tooth in a clean damp cloth to keep it moist until you get to the dentist.

Should you be able to get the tooth back in its socket and back in place within the first 10 minutes, there is a good chance that it may be saved by your dentist. Once you hit the two-hour mark, the odds of being able to put it back in place are slim to none. Modern dentistry can offer modern techniques in tooth restoration. If you are in a remote area or you cannot find a quick appointment, it is still best to get into the dentist as soon as you can even if that requires finding an emergency dentist such as Dentist Sunnybank that offers extended hours.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth

The third permanent molars are known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are expected to emerge from 17 years of age onwards. Most wisdom teeth erupt between age 17 and 25. Although wisdom teeth are hard to brushvulnerable to decay, they cause no harm when they erupt in the correct position.

A wisdom tooth causestrouble if it becomes impacted beneath existing molars. Modern dentistry can predict this in advance using x-ray imaging. If an impacted wisdom tooth is not treated, it can cause abscess or even damage other molars.

The best thing you can do is have your wisdom teeth checked and their movements monitored when you are a teenager. Treatment is recommended when your wisdom teeth is predicted to become impacted. Treatment of a disease-free wisdom tooth is always easier that the treatment of a painful diseased wisdom tooth.


Bruxism is teeth grinding or jaw clenching with no masticatory function and without the person’s awareness. There are two types of Bruxism. Sleep Bruxism and Awake Bruxism. Sleep Bruxism is considered and viewed as a movement disorder. It is in the same category as restless legs syndrome

Bruxism can flatten the biting surface of the tooth or cause chips.Sever bruxism can causetooth structure breakdown, facial damage or damage to the temporomandibular joint.Sleep Bruxism can awaken the patient or the bed partner reducing the quality of sleep and cause headaches.

There is no absolute cure for bruxism, as yet. With no specific cure for bruxism, dentists try to manage the disorder with a special type of Mouthguard.The mouthguard does not “cure” Bruxism but it can reduce the forceand protect the enamel of your teeth against grinding.

Some claim that bruxism may be cured by changing your lifestyle. Relaxation techniques, or taking antianxiety medication may help.

Stress-induced Bruxism can be avoided by helping children to deal with stress. Sometimes regular conversation with the person about their feelings can reduces or cures this type of bruxism.

Bruxism may be treated by wearing a bite splint or night Mouthguard. These appliances are not considered a cure for Bruxism though.


Dental abscessis a localized acute infection that involves the tissues surrounding the teeth. Abscess can cause swelling and pain.A dental abscess requires emergency treatment, it can spread to other parts of the body including the face and become dangerous.

Some patients refer to dental abscess as Gumboil. Gumboil is actually an abscessthat starts in a tooth socket and then bursts through the gum. Abscess is a pocket of pus, typically near the root of the tooth, surrounded by inflamed tissue. The area near the abscess is usually tender and appears red and in some cases it is extremely painful.

To treat an acute dental abscess, your dentist may put you on antibiotics to control the spread of infection and surgically drain the pus.

Gum Disease

The technical term for gum disease is periodontal disease.Gum disease is a chronic infection in the gum. Build-up of bacteria in the gumleads to inflammation and infection. The infection affects the gums and supporting bones in one or multiple teeth and can lead to tooth loss.

Gum disease, in its initial stages, is usually silent, like a heart disease. There may be no pain or bleeding in the early stages. But similar to a tooth decay, gum disease progresses further over time.

According to statistics, gum disease is a common cause of tooth loss for people older than 35 years of age. Gum disease, similar to common cold, is a very common disease. And just like tooth decay, proper diet, oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups can help prevent the development and progress of gum disease.

Cracked Tooth

Cracked tooth can cause pain. The pieces of the tooth along the crack may move under biting pressure and that can cause pain on bite or release of the bite. It can also cause sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

If cracks are treated in early stages, the tooth is restorable, and the symptoms usually subside after treatment. If cracks are deep in the tooth, more complex treatment such as root canal or extractions may be required. By having your regular check-ups your dentist can look for small cracks and treat them before they become complex cracks.

Read here to learn more about dental cracks and treatments.

Don’t Delay Visiting the Dentist

If you are suffering from toothache the best thing you can do is visiting a dentist. Delaying the treatment of a toothache should be avoided. If you are delaying treatment because your child is anxious you can read this article on how to reduce a child’s dental anxiety. The sooner toothache is treated, the less is the extent of damage to nerves and other tissues. To maintain dental health a regular dental check-up is an essential part of oral health care. It is of utmost importance for children and older people.

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