Dental Emergencies 101: How to Handle a Dental Emergency

No one ever wants to experience a dental emergency. However, odds are at some point in your life, you will find yourself facing one and need to seek the help of a Fairhope AL dentist quickly. Keep in mind that the faster you handle a dental emergency by getting to a dentist, the less risk of complications and continued problems as a result of the incident. Therefore, to help you know what to do when facing an emergency, we have compiled the following information on how to deal with dental emergencies.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Before looking deeper at what to do in the case of a dental emergency, it’s helpful to define the term itself. A dental emergency is any unexpected oral health issue that demands immediate attention from a dentist or oral health professional. The most common types of dental emergencies include a broken tooth, a knocked-out tooth, tooth pain, bleeding gums, and abscesses. Read on to learn what steps to take if these common dental emergencies occur to increase your chances of a full recovery.

Trauma or Accident

In many cases, you can experience a type of trauma in your mouth that can result in injuries to your gums, lips, tongue, or cheeks. This can result in your tooth either being completely knocked out, broken, or dislodged from the socket. The most common accidents to cause these problems include falling, car accidents, or sports-related injuries. It’s important that you act fast and correctly to prevent tooth loss or permanent damage. If your tooth is knocked out, try to find it and pick it up on the chewing surface (avoid touching the root). Then, rinse it with water and put it in a container either filled with milk or water and get to your dentist immediately. Ideally, you will want to see your dentist within 30 minutes of the injury occurring to increase the chances of saving your tooth.  

Toothache or Abscess

It has been said that there is no more miserable pain than a toothache, and sometimes, you find yourself dealing with this suddenly without much warning. Abscesses are caused by dental decay that moves deep into the tooth, resulting in severe infection. This causes the surrounding gum area to become swollen and extremely painful. If you leave an abscess untreated, it can spread to other parts of your mouth and even impact the brain, ear, neck, and jaw. Therefore, if you are experiencing sudden tooth pain, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible to rule out an infection. While a toothache in and of itself isn’t a dental emergency, the pain can quickly become very severe, and the abscess can rupture, which then causes a dental emergency, so it’s best to get ahead of the process and prevent this result with a cavity repair.  

Broken Filling or Crown

Experiencing a broken or missing crown or filling is considered another dental issue that should be addressed sooner rather than later. A broken crown or a missing crown or filling can lead to more damage to the underlying tooth. This is because it can expose the inside of your tooth, which is now uncovered and unprotected to bacteria, which can lead to an infection or worse. Therefore, if you find yourself experiencing a missing or broken crown, you will want to search for dental crowns near me and see your dentist as soon as possible to address this issue.  

When To Seek Immediate Help

While all the issues outlined above fall under the dental emergency category, there are differences in terms of how quickly your dental help should be sought. For example, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you are in the throes of a full dental emergency that demands immediate attention from a professional:

  • Redness or pus in the mouth.
  • Swelling to your face or mouth.
  • Severe jaw pain or toothache.
  • Trauma to your teeth or jaw.
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop after 10 minutes.  

How to Best Prevent Dental Emergencies

While all dental emergencies cannot be prevented, you can reduce your risk of ever experiencing them by taking the following steps to keep your teeth healthy and protected:

  • Wear a mouthguard when playing a sport that could injure your teeth or your gums.  
  • Visit your dentist regularly for scheduled cleanings to prevent cavities and other dental issues.
  • Floss daily and use mouthwash to reduce the risk of bacteria getting into the gums and teeth.
  • Avoid overly sugary and acidic foods and drinks as they can weaken your enamel and leave teeth more vulnerable to cavities and other problems.

Contact us at Lagniappe Dental

Hopefully, you will never find yourself facing a true dental emergency. However, there is no way to completely prevent such problems from occurring. That’s why it’s a good idea to establish yourself as a patient now, so that in the event of an emergency, we can get to you as quickly as possible. Contact us at Lagniappe Dental today to learn more.


Call 251-517-3313 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.