9 Emergency Dental Situations and What to Do About Them

Posted by On 3-08-2020

Dental emergencies can happen in an instant or slowly progress from a mild issue to an emergency overtime. However, one thing most dental emergencies have in common is pain or discomfort. When you experience pain without a logical explanation, such as a newly damaged tooth or through an accident, you should always call our office as soon as possible. However, if you have a clear emergency following an accident or injury, not only should you call our office, but you should also take some steps to help reduce pain and avoid further damage. Here, we look at 9 possible dental emergencies and what to do when they happen.

1. Swollen face

If you are suffering from an infection in your mouth, whether it is in your tooth, gums, or jawbone, you could experience swelling in your face. If you find that your face appears swollen, set up a dental appointment with us immediately and let us know your symptoms, so we know it is urgent. While waiting for your appointment, be sure to avoid lying down, even when you go to bed. Stay upright and drink fluids to help reduce the risk of complications.

2. Knocked out tooth

While this is an obvious emergency, it might be less clear what to do when it happens. First, try to find your tooth. If you can reimplant your tooth, there is a better chance we can save it. Pick your tooth up and avoid touching the root. Keep your fingers on the tooth itself, so you don’t cause further damage to the tissue needed to reimplant it. Rinse off any dirt under gently running water without touching the root. To avoid dropping your tooth down the sink, place a towel over the drain. Look at the same tooth on the opposite side in the mirror to make sure you position it correctly. If you aren’t sure how to replace it, place your tooth in a container of cold milk and head to our office with a quick warning call you are on your way.

3. A broken, cracked, or chipped tooth

If you damage your tooth, give us a call to set up an emergency visit. Even if it doesn’t hurt, you should still see us as soon as possible. You can expect to experience some tooth sensitivity, so avoid cold and hot drinks. At your appointment, we will assess your tooth and determine what repairs can be done. This can be as simple as polishing to smooth a crack; however, in more serious cases, you might require a crown or root canal.

4. Bleeding mouth

If you are hit in the mouth, the reason for the bleeding is obvious. If you have experienced an injury to your mouth, call our office and let us know you were in an accident, and we will set up an appointment ASAP. For other causes of bleeding, do the following:

  • If you’re bleeding 24 hours after an extraction or treatment at our office, this is an indication you could need immediate care, especially if the bleeding is extreme. Keep your head elevated, even when sleeping. If we did not perform the procedure or our office is not open, you should visit a dental emergency clinic immediately.

  • If you experience bleeding when you brush your teeth or floss, chances are you have an underlying condition, such as gum disease or gingivitis. Be certain to set up an appointment within a month.

  • Blood in your saliva could be very serious, including the possibility of advanced gum disease or even some types of cancer. You should set up an appointment as soon as you can.

5. Gum or Tooth abscess

If you spot a sore on your gum, it could mean you have a Gingival abscess, which is in the gum tissue. A gum abscess can be caused by a sharp piece of food getting lodged into gums and becoming infected.

A tooth abscess, also known as a Periodontal abscess, occurs between the teeth and gums and can be caused by injury or food getting stuck.

You should be seen right away, as the abscess will need to be drained. The longer you wait, the worse the pain and infection can become. You can experience facial swelling and extreme pain, and put yourself at risk for systemic complications if the infection gets into your bloodstream. Avoid chewing in that area until we can take care of you

Depending on the location and severity of the infection we may need to take an X-ray and, potentially, prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, you may require a root canal or an extraction. While waiting for your appointment, do not try to “pop” the abscess. Continue with your usual brushing and flossing regime.

6. Injuries, falls, or accidents

Accidents can lead to mild or even severe injuries of the teeth, jaw, and soft tissues of the mouth, tongue, and inner cheeks. If you have trauma to your face or mouth, check your teeth and mouth for signs of damage. Bleeding, broken or damaged teeth, and pain or difficulty moving your jaw are all good reasons to visit our office. If you have pain in the jaw or ear, ice the area and take an anti-inflammatory, such as Advil.

7. Cut or burned tongue

If you cut or burn your tongue, the pain and bleeding can be quite severe. Call our office to set up an appointment and suck an ice cube to help manage pain, especially for burns. If the bleeding is bad, you can use a piece of gauze to apply pressure to help it subside.

8. Toothache

There are so many different reasons for tooth pain that it is always best to call us for an appointment. Not all situations will be an emergency, and they can range from grinding your teeth at night to actual cavities or gum disease. You can use over-the-counter pain medication to manage pain until you see our team.

9. Something caught between your teeth

While this might seem more like an annoyance than an emergency, leaving something stuck in your teeth can lead to a foreign body reaction. If you can’t remove it with floss, the intruder will eventually be viewed as a threat by your body, which will lead to swelling and pain. If floss doesn’t help, call our office, and we can arrange to remove it for you.

If you think you could have a dental emergency, speak to our team at Milltown Dental today.


Leave A Comment


  • Posted on 14-07-2023 by Sarah Feraer

    Incredibly informative and well-written. It provides concise and practical tips for handling dental emergencies, making it a valuable resource for anyone in need. Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Posted on 09-06-2023 by Elaina D'Agostino

    It was helpful to learn that pain and difficulty moving the jaw is a signs of damage that needs to be checked by a dentist ASAP. One time my little brother fell down the stairs and his baby tooth became loose. We should have brought him to the dentist, but my mom decided to just put an ice pack against it. Next time I’ll encourage doing a dental visit.

  • Posted on 03-05-2023 by Mestica

    Thank you for providing knowledge about emergency dental situations. You are totally correct. Thank you for writing this; I enjoyed reading your site! I’m very glad to have found this incredibly well-written article. Regards and look forward to further sharing in the future!

  • Posted on 03-05-2023 by Samara

    I appreciate you sharing such an important bit of information. I was truly devastated after reading your post because it has those informational tidbits. In that case, thank you.

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  • Posted on 13-04-2023 by Olivia Smart

    Thank you for explaining that sore spots on your gum can be a gum abscess. I’ve been having some problems with my gums lately. I don’t know if it could be this, but I’ll call my dentist to get it checked out just in case.

  • Posted on 27-03-2023 by Edmund Porter

    This post is definitely worth the view for anyone who wants to be prepared for unexpected dental emergencies. As someone who has experienced tooth pain and other dental issues, these tips are beneficial. And it’s always better to be ready for the unexpected, so for anyone looking for advice on what to do in a dental emergency, you should check out this post.

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  • Posted on 28-01-2023 by Elina Brooks

    Thank you for warning us that not all situations involving tooth pain will be an emergency since it can be caused by a variety of reasons, including grinding teeth at night and gum disease. I’ve been feeling a persistent tooth ache for a week now, and it doesn’t seem like it’ll go away any time soon, so I’m thinking of seeing a dentist for it. I’ll keep what you said in mind while I look for nearby dental care services to call for an appointment for next week.

  • Posted on 24-12-2022 by Georgina Mckenzy

    I’m glad that you mentioned that you are what you eat. I strongly agree with this phrase since I was small and conscious of my food. I wanted to take my five-year-old son to the dentist since he has had a toothache for the last two days. I agree that the food we eat is a decisive factor in why he had a toothache.

  • Posted on 20-12-2022 by Georgina Mckenzy

    Thank you for sharing your post about emergency dental situations. My son accidentally hit his brother’s face this morning, and we observed a cracked tooth on his brother. The broken tooth won’t stop bleeding. We wanted to go to an emergency family dentist as soon as possible so that the doctor could check him.

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  • Posted on 15-12-2022 by Dr Elaheh Rahimi

    Hello Dr. Julie Boudreault,
    Thank you for providing this information, my son was actually experiencing some kind of discomfort and pain in his tooth since last week. So by reading this blog I thought it might be an emergency. So thank you so much.

  • Posted on 12-12-2022 by Georgina Mckenzy

    My ten-year-old twin was playing basketball in the backyard when one of the twins headbutted the other, causing bleeding gum on his twin. I was afraid I’d have to call Glen Waverley’s emergency dentist. As you said, bleeding, broken pain, or difficulty moving your jaw are reasons to visit a doctor. I need to see my sister leave the baby I am caring for so I can send him to the dentist as soon as possible.

  • Posted on 06-12-2022 by Paraizo Morris

    This is very good content. A lot of people don’t know what to do in some instances like this. At least, after reading your blog, I may have an idea of how we will respond to it. Thanks by the way!

  • Posted on 02-12-2022 by Chris V. Scott

    My friend is in Canada, and I will surely recommend your clinic to her. She found the content very informative and helpful. She thanked me for sharing this blog, for she had gone through some dental issues recently and was looking for answers on what to do in emergency cases like these. Great job! Keep up the good work! 👍🏼😃🤗

  • Posted on 02-12-2022 by Larry J. Lee

    A very informative blogpost Julie. I will indeed share this information with my friends if any of this happens in the future. Thanks again, Julie.

  • Posted on 02-12-2022 by Eric M. Bryant

    I agree with you, Ryan. The descriptions of each emergency are clear and helpful, providing useful tips on what steps to take to address the issue quickly.

  • Posted on 02-12-2022 by Ryan E. Nelson

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  • Posted on 24-08-2022 by Iris Smith

    Thank you for letting me know that drinking hot or cold beverages might cause dental sensitivity when a tooth cracks. My son had fallen, which caused his teeth to chip. I’ll head over to the emergency hospital dental clinic right away to check on my son’s teeth.

  • Posted on 08-07-2022 by Mats Wolff

    I appreciate your advice to seek medical attention immediately if a tooth abscess develops. My son has a dental abscess, and because I’m new to the area, I’m seeking for a competent dentist. I appreciate the advice on when to visit an emergency dentist, and I’m hoping to find my son a good dentist as soon as I can.

  • Posted on 24-05-2022 by Mats Wolff

    My friend recently damaged a tooth and wants to see a dentist to get it replaced. Staying upright and drinking fluids to help lower the chance of problems is beneficial. Thank you for sharing information about dental emergency. I’ll pass along your blog to a friend so she may get her teeth fixed as soon as possible!

  • Posted on 18-03-2022 by Mats Wolff

    I appreciate when you said to see a doctor right away if there are abscess on teeth. I am new to my area and I am looking for a good dentist for my son as he is having some dental abscess. Thanks for the tips on when to see an emergency dentist and I hope that I can find a suitable dentist for my son as soon as possible!

  • Posted on 07-02-2022 by Mats Wolff

    I appreciate when you said that blood in your saliva could be very serious. My son has sensitive teeth so I want to take him to the dentist next week to get some root canals. I would need to speak to a professional further so determine the best dentist for my son. Thanks for the article!

  • Posted on 10-12-2021 by Mats Wolff

    One of my friend just broke a tooth and wants to visit the dentist to help her replace it. Its helpful when you said to stay upright and drink fluids to help reduce the risk of complications. Thanks for providing information on dental emergencies and I will share your blog with my friend so that she can fix her teeth as soon as possible!