Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do About Them

Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do About Them

Realizing you have a problem in your mouth can be a terrible experience. Examining the issue by yourself is often a struggle—and knowing if it needs immediate dental care may not be easy. Read on to learn how to determine a dental emergency and what to do about it.


Pain can be uncomfortable and unbearable. Most of the time, it results from toothache. Signs such as swelling could mean your toothache needs emergency treatment. 

Place a cold compress on your cheeks. Call your dental clinic and ask for emergency care. After receiving treatment, your dentist will emphasize how vital it is to practice oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and worse issues.

Broken or Chipped Teeth

A broken or chipped tooth can be painful. Use warm water to rinse your mouth, then apply gauze to the bleeding site. Reduce swelling by applying a cold compress to your face, the part closest to your chipped or broken tooth. Doing so will also help relieve pain.

Book an emergency dental treatment to prevent further dental problems or infections.

Pain and Bleeding After Tooth Extraction

Experiencing minor bleeding and pain after a tooth removal should not worry you. But if it worsens and persists, it becomes a dental emergency. Contact your dentist immediately to determine if the occurrence is cause for concern.

You can reduce the bleeding by placing clean gauze over the bleeding site. Apply pressure gently by biting down on the pad. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication after tooth extraction.


Infections in the space between your gums and teeth or near the tooth root can be severe. They can spread to the surrounding gum tissue, teeth, or your body. An abscess is a swollen type of pimple in your gums that is always painful.

Call your dentist immediately for emergency care to prevent the problem from worsening. Use a water solution to rinse your mouth to relieve the problem temporarily. You can also put some ice on the swelling.

Broken Orthodontics

Orthodontic appliances like braces can withstand wear and tear associated with daily functions like chewing, talking, or eating. But sometimes, the wires can break and poke your cheeks and gums. As a result, aligning your smile gets impeded, and you also experience discomfort.

Try pushing the broken wire into a comfortable place in your mouth to reduce the discomfort. Use a cotton ball, gauze, or orthodontic wax to cover the wires’ exposed ends. Try not to cut any wire to reduce your risk of swallowing it. Directly contact your orthodontist to book an appointment.

Knocked-out Tooth

Avoid touching a knocked-out tooth by its roots. If possible, try to place the knocked-out tooth back into its pocket. 

You can also place the tooth into a glass of milk or gently place the tooth in your mouth. Ensure it remains moist. Contact your dentist immediately to ensure the tooth gets positioned back within 30 minutes.


Infections could mean a problem that cannot resolve on its own. Call the dentist immediately if you suspect that you have a dental infection. You can also alleviate pain using over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol.


Swelling could mean you have a severe infection. It often does not heal without treatment. Call your dentist immediately if you notice you have swelling. 

For more about dental emergencies, visit Jonny Fisher DDS at our office in Pullman, Washington. Call (509) 383-8300 to book an appointment today.

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