Skip to Content Top

Understanding Dental Emergencies


Like an emergency room, patients come to us with all kinds of dental emergencies. Some of them have crazy stories behind them, while others are less exciting. For example, a fair number of dental emergencies are linked to sport injuries. “Little Johnny got his tooth knocked out during karate class,” or “The baseball hit my son’s face!” or “I was playing rugby with the guys and this one fellow took it too far.”

Aside from sport injuries, there are other reasons for dental emergencies. A patient can get their tooth knocked out in a car accident. Or, an elderly person can fall and hit their face on the pavement, knocking a tooth loose. Or, it can be an act of violence. If a patient is assaulted, the attack can lead to an emergency dental situation. Truly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the causes of dental emergencies.

What Qualifies as a Dental Emergency?

If you have a dental emergency, the first thing you should do is call your dentist. Usually, dentists make room for patients with dental emergencies. That being said, let’s discuss what qualifies as a “dental emergency.” The following situations would be considered a dental emergency:

  • You have a loose tooth.
  • Your tooth is out of alignment.
  • You are bleeding from the mouth.
  • You are experiencing severe pain.
  • You have been hit in the face or the mouth.
  • You have swelling in the mouth or face.
  • You have swelling or bulges in the gums.
  • You have a cracked or fractured tooth.
  • You have a knocked-out tooth (urgent matter).
  • You have a puncture wound to the mouth.
  • You have tears to the lips, cheeks, or tongue.
  • You have a severe tooth infection.
  • You have an abscess in the mouth (this could be life-threatening).

If you experience any of the above, you may have a dental emergency and should contact our office immediately. When you reach our office, please describe what happened to you and what you are feeling. If it’s painful when you bite down, you could have an abscess, which is a dental emergency and needs immediate attention.

Share To: