It’s not uncommon to bite your tongue or feel a little pain when chewing or performing other daily activities. In fact, most people often feel slight pain in their teeth or gums which usually goes away within a few days. This feeling is usually routine and can happen for various reasons.

But when such pain persists in your mouth after a couple of days, or you notice bleeding in your gums or cheeks after an injury or accident, then it’s time to see a dentist. At that point, what you’re experiencing is no longer a common injury but rather a dental emergency that needs the immediate attention of a specialist.

So, what exactly constitutes a dental emergency, and more importantly, how do you handle a dental emergency before you reach your dentist? Let’s dig in! 

What Is a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is any dental problem caused by accident, injury, or trauma to the mouth that results in bleeding, fracture, or dislocation of a tooth. If not treated immediately, such problems can result in severe damage to the teeth and gums, loss of the tooth, or more expensive treatments that could have been prevented.

If you’re experiencing a dental problem that constitutes a dental emergency, you should see a nearby dentist right away. But in the meantime, here are some things you could do to handle the emergency and prevent it from worsening.

How To Handle a Dental Emergency


Toothaches are one of the most common dental emergencies. They usually occur in the form of a sharp pain that persists for some days, followed by swelling of the affected tooth. The pain and swelling occur due to the inflammation of the pulp, which contains nerve endings that are sensitive to pain.

If you’re experiencing a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water. Next, use dental floss to remove any food lodged between your teeth. Follow it up by applying a cold compress to the area to control the swelling and soothe the pain. 

However, if the pain persists for more than a few hours, make an emergency appointment to see your dentist. Don’t make the mistake of applying aspirin or painkillers to the affected site. Doing this will cause further bruising to your gums, eventually leading to more expensive treatments.

Chipped, broken, or knocked out tooth

 People experience chipped or broken teeth for various reasons. Some of which include

  • A fall, 
  • accident, 
  •  trauma to the mouth.

If you have a chipped or broken tooth, pick up the broken pieces and rinse the mouth with warm water. If there is bleeding in the affected site, use a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding while you make an appointment to see your dentist.

For a knocked-out tooth, pick up the tooth by the crown, rinse the root with warm water if dirty, then try to reinsert it into the mouth. Ensure you don’t touch the root and that the tooth is facing the right way. However, if you cannot reinsert it, place it between your cheek and gums or in a glass of milk and make your way to the dentist.

The best chance of saving the teeth is if you get to your dentist within an hour of the tooth being knocked out says this dentist in Highlands Ranch

Lost filling or crown

Dental fillings and crowns can easily get dislodged or lost in the event of an accident. If you lose your filling, place a stick of sugarless gum into the cavity or an over-the-counter dental cement. This will help fill up the area till you get to your dentist.

But, if it’s your crown, use a cotton swab to coat the sensitive area with clove oil. If possible, you can place the crown back in place while you make your trip to the dentist.


An abscess is an infection at the base of a tooth near the gum or in the space between the teeth. It usually manifests as a pimple on the base of the gum followed by severe pain and pus.

If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth, causing severe damage. To handle an abscess, use salt water solution to rinse your mouth thoroughly. This will help soothe the pain and draw the pus to the surface.

The Best Way to Handle a Dental Emergency

These are just a few dental emergencies that can happen to anyone at any time. Nevertheless, regardless of the type of emergency you’re facing, the best way to handle a dental emergency is to see a dentist immediately. 

An experienced dentist will be able to diagnose the dental emergency and proffer a solution to the problem right away.