What Is Dental Emergency: Definitive Guide

A dental emergency is any situation that involves uncontrolled bleeding, facial bone trauma and more. It is not a rare occurrence, and it could happen to anyone at any time. Thus it is essential to know how to deal with it arises. For example, you may experience a dental emergency if your tooth has been knocked out or cracked, is sensitive to hot beverages or food, or has become infected. In addition to these common dental emergencies, other less common ones such as an impacted wisdom tooth and avulsion (when the gum pulls away from the bone).  

Since dental emergencies are usually quite painful and require urgent attention to prevent further damage, it is best to consult your dentist immediately. It’s better for you and your teeth if problems like these are dealt with sooner rather than later because otherwise, all sorts of secondary issues such as infections can get worse.

What Qualifies As A Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can be life-threatening. If you’re experiencing a toothache that won’t go away, it may be time to call your dentist. Suppose the pain is severe enough and doesn’t subside with medication or over-the-counter remedies like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). Immediate treatment can save your teeth from more serious damage later on.

Severe pain

Toothaches are an uncomfortable feeling that can happen for several reasons. Still, an increase in pain and sensitivity is usual when you know there’s something wrong. Preventing a toothache in the first place is ideal for patients, but this isn’t always the case, and often it’s too late before you know what has happened to your teeth. Sensitivity to temperature or touch persists after pain increases due to these changes, then visit your dentist right away.

Bleeding from the mouth 

A bleeding mouth is one of the classic telltale signs of gingivitis, a common condition. But if it’s not stopping after you’ve applied pressure with a gauze or compress and your teeth are visibly painful to touch, see emergency healthcare right away.

Gingivitis is a common condition that often manifests as bleeding from the mouth. Suppose you notice that your gums are swollen and sore. In that case, it’s imperative to seek medical attention right away because if left untreated, this can lead to other serious side effects such as tooth sensitivity or an infection in the teeth sockets.

Lost a tooth 

A loose tooth might not seem like a concern for children, but it’s essential to know that they risk developing severe problems like cavities and gum disease when adults lose their teeth prematurely. If there isn’t any underlying cause, then preservation may be possible. It’s important to get a tooth back into its socket as soon as possible. Not only will it heal better, but you’ll also have the best chance of saving your natural teeth.

Loose or wobbly tooth 

Teeth should never be loose in adulthood. If you notice your teeth have begun to wobble, there are a few things it could mean. One possibility is that one of your teeth has been injured or knocked out and needs immediate attention from the dentist. Also, loose teeth can lead to a localized infection, which is what causes toothaches. If you have loose teeth and are experiencing this kind of pain, the dentist must see it as soon as possible to determine if there is an issue with gum disease or dental caries. Early treatment will prevent infections from spreading to keep all of your pearly whites intact.

Dental Abscess 

When it comes to dental emergencies, a tooth abscess is one of the most life-threatening conditions. The condition occurs when pus in your mouth creates an infection inside the teeth and makes you suffer from high fever with sensitivity for anything cold or hot, as well as swollen lymph nodes on the side of your neck. You may also feel persistent pain in that area, become sensitive to light touch over time, or have bumps form near where this problem began if not treated sufficiently soon enough. The symptoms start mild but gradually worsen with time so see a doctor immediately if there’s any suspicion that you have an infected tooth.

Swelling of face

If you have a tooth or gum infection, it could be causing your jaw and mouth to swell. If this happens with pain, there is likely an abscess that needs treatment as soon as possible because the bacteria can spread throughout your body if left untreated. There will be serious consequences for us later on.

What To Do In A Dental Emergency

In the event of a dental emergency, don’t panic. You’ll need to identify what type it is so you can act quickly and efficiently. Dental emergencies can happen at any time without warning, so if there’s no dental clinic available during regular office hours (or 24/7), knowing what to do until help arrives will save you some stress. 

Dental emergencies can range from mild conditions that are easy and inexpensive to remedy on your own up until more severe cases which require immediate intervention by a professional. The better prepared you are for the scenarios ahead of time, the easier it will be in those moments where teeth pain or discomfort forces us into action without warning.

Can I Go To A Hospital For Dental Emergencies?

When a dental emergency or trauma involving the face and mouth requires immediate medical attention, you should call emergency services or go to an emergency room if possible. These include jaw fractures, dislocations of your teeth out from its socket due to injury (jaw cuts), serious lacerations on any part of the body that require stitches during which there may be severe bleeding in case they cut into one artery near where it is located under your chin; infection like abscesses with swelling affecting breathing and swallowing can also lead someone who cannot breathe properly when he sleeps because his tongue moves upwards by gravity as opposed injuries at an oral level such as broken tooth roots without bacteria spreading through the bloodstream.

What Helps With The Toothache Pain?

A toothache can be a serious problem. When you have one, it’s crucial to determine what may be causing your discomfort so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. From there, one might find relief through various means such as medication or surgery.

The most common toothache home remedies are saltwater rinses and cold compress applications. However, more serious toothache may require the intervention of your emergency dentist. If symptoms persist for more than a day or two, see your dentist because they will guide how to relieve the pain and prevent discomfort from recurring again in the future. It is also important that you consult with them before using any remedies if pregnant, breastfeeding or have any medical condition where herbal ingredients could impact it negatively (such as diabetes).

Saltwater rinse

A salt water rinse is an effective first-line treatment for many people. Saltwater has a natural disinfectant effect and can help loosen the food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth, as well as treating any oral wounds you might have on your mouth. This approach can also reduce inflammation if it’s used to treat toothache symptoms. 

All you need to do is mix 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt into a glass of warm water, then gargle for about 30 seconds before spitting out.

Hydrogen peroxide rinse 

People who have painful or inflamed gums may find relief using a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Hydrogen peroxide not only kills bacteria but can also reduce plaque buildup and heal bleeding gums. 

Make sure you properly dilute the hydrogen peroxide for a safe result. For example, mix 3% of hydrogen peroxide with equal parts of water, then use it as a mouthwash and don’t swallow it.

Cold compress 

Applying a cold compress can relieve your toothache to make the pain more manageable. When you apply it, it constricting blood vessels in that area which reduces inflammation and swelling, use ice wrapped up with a towel for 20 minutes every few hours until relief is achieved.

Peppermint tea bags

Peppermint tea bags are a handy tool to have around. When you need to soothe sensitive gums or numb pain, peppermint tea bags can be used; one is by allowing the bag to cool down before applying it. This should still be warm but not hot. You could also put the cold teabag in your freezer for two minutes and then apply it to toothache pains.


For centuries, garlic has been used for its medicinal properties. It is known to kill harmful bacteria that cause dental plaque and even act as pain relief. Some people use it by crushing the clove into a paste before applying it directly on their skin or in their mouth (add some salt if desired).


Clove has been used to treat toothaches throughout history and effectively reduce pain, inflammation, and healing gums. This oil contains eugenol, which acts as a natural antiseptic. To use clove for these purposes, add a few drops of it onto cotton balls that you can place on the affected area or make your mouthwash by adding one drop into some water to soothe any discomfort affecting your teeth.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to dental emergencies, toothache can be the most common. It is often caused by cavities or gum disease and should not be ignored as it may lead to more severe problems in the future. When faced with a dental emergency, it’s important to know your options and what you can do about them on your own or seek professional help as soon as possible. Learn more today by contacting Peel Dental Studio for a free consultation with our dentists who specialize in quick solutions so that your discomfort doesn’t get worse.

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Peel Dental Studio


Dr. Bailey formerly served on the Australian Dental Association as President, Vice President Treasurer and Country Councillor. He was on the Australian Dental Association Federal Council and has always been keen to give back to the profession that has been his life. He has tutored student dentists at the Oral Health Centre in Perth.