8 Cases That Urgently Require a Trip to the Emergency Dentist


Emergencies can happen when you least expect them, and this includes sudden injuries and pain in your mouth. When left untreated, these can lead to permanent damage, health complications, and costly treatments.

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So the moment you or a family member suffers from serious and unexpected dental problems, make sure to visit an emergency dentist immediately. Time is of the essence when dealing with dental emergencies. A 24-hour dental services provider will do their best to treat your dental issue even after hours.

Here are eight dental emergencies you must not ignore:

Broken/chipped/cracked tooth:

A strong and healthy tooth can still become broken because of trauma or dental decay, or when you bite down on hard things. Also, it can crack or chip off if you grind your teeth while sleeping.

When this happens, you must see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Be aware that aside from aesthetic concerns and pain, infection and further decay can also occur when a cracked, broken or chipped tooth is left unaddressed.

Avulsed tooth:

Avulsed or knocked-out teeth are common among children and adults due to sports injuries and accidents. This is considered the most serious dental emergency, but permanent damage can be prevented with a proper and immediate action plan.

If your tooth gets knocked out, rinse it gently and keep it moist with your saliva, blood or milk (use no other fluids). You should then go to the nearest emergency dental clinic for reattachment. But if you can, you may place the tooth back into its socket and hold it in place using your fingers or by biting down on it. The sooner you see an emergency dentist, the higher the likelihood of saving your tooth.

Lost filling/crown:

Often, a filling or crown can become loose while you are eating. But generally, this occurs if the tooth beneath is already decaying. Know that decay will cause your tooth to change in shape, thus loosening the crown. And when this happens, the affected tooth can become too sensitive, both to pressure and temperature changes.

As soon as the filling or crown became loose, contact an emergency dentist right away to fix it. A crown that fell out of your mouth can be kept in a cool place because the dentist may reinsert it.

A severe toothache:

Don’t ignore a severe toothache! A constant, sharp pain is an indication that something is wrong, so you should visit a dentist immediately. Emergency dentists can figure out its cause, which may be a dental abscess or a bacterial infection.

Remember that early detection and treatment are crucial to saving the affected tooth. Ignoring tooth pain will allow the bacteria to spread through your bloodstream, thus leading to severe health conditions.

Facial swelling:

Inflammation occurs because of the reaction of your immune system to an allergen or infection. If you experience swelling in your gums and cheeks, you must seek emergency dental care immediately to prevent the spread of the infection to your mouth and jaw.

Bleeding in the mouth:

Mouth bleeding happens if you accidentally bite your lip, tongue or any soft tissue in your mouth. Decrease the swelling and stop the bleeding by applying a cold compress. But if bleeding persists after applying pressure on the affected site for a maximum of 20 minutes, visit an emergency dentist right away.

Broken Jaw:

Did you know that the world’s broken jaw capital is Darwin in North Australia? The number one cause of this condition is alcohol-related violence. Other causes include vehicular accidents, work accidents, and sports injuries.

A broken jaw is considered a dental emergency because it affects one’s ability to eat and breathe when left untreated. This is a critical situation that necessitates special attention from an emergency dentist.

Damaged orthodontics:

If you notice a wire from a brace bracket that is poking your gum, teeth, or tongue, you have to push it into a comfortable position. Otherwise, you should cover the end of the wires with a piece of gauze or a cotton ball. After that, visit your orthodontist immediately to fix it. Do not cut the wire since you might breathe it into your lungs or swallow it.

For a loose band, you must save it and visit your orthodontist for a repair or replacement.

For a broken denture, call your dentist immediately for a repair appointment. Never attempt to fix it yourself because this requires the right materials and expert skill and knowledge.

Whenever you experience any of these dental emergencies, don’t delay calling or visiting an emergency dentist ASAP. It is for this reason that you should know where to find an emergency dentist ahead of time so you will have someone to call to during these situations.

AUTHOR BIO: Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual’s requirements, Mike’s focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.


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