5 Things to Remember When Dealing with a Dental Emergency

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Things to Remember When Dealing with a Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can come up at any time, especially when you least expect them. This, in turn, can cause excruciating pain and distress, leading to a lot of discomfort.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that COVID-19 has led to an increase in dental problems in different parts of the world. This led to more dental emergencies during the pandemic. However, in general, dental emergencies can happen without any pre-existing conditions.

From toothaches and broken teeth to lost fillings and soft tissue injuries inside your mouth, there are a lot of dental emergencies that can arise without any warnings. That’s why you must stay prepared for such emergencies at all times. Having established that, let us explore a few things you must remember when dealing with a dental emergency.

1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation During a Dental Emergency

During a dental emergency, it’s easy to panic and feel overwhelmed by pain and fear. However, it’s crucial to remain as calm as possible so you can assess the situation accurately.

Take a moment to breathe deeply and focus on the issue at hand. Identify the source of the pain and examine the affected area gently. Understanding the nature of the dental emergency will help you communicate the problem effectively to dental professionals when seeking immediate assistance.

2. Contact a Local Dental Professional Immediately

Contact a Local Dental Professional Immediately

If your teeth or gums are in a lot of pain, you need to get in touch with a local dental professional immediately. Otherwise, if you wait for an appointment outside your area, it might be too late.

Suppose you’re from Tacoma, Washington, and you have a dental emergency. In the US, there are over 200,000 dentists spread all across the country. Washington is home to over 4,000 dentists. However, you don’t have the luxury of seeing a dentist out of your city when you’re dealing with an emergency.  You shouldn’t even wait to find an appointment in other parts of Washington, like Seattle or Spokane.

Instead, you must immediately get in touch with a dentist or oral surgeon in Tacoma. Since the closest treatment you can receive for your emergency is in Tacoma, that’s where you should look for surgeons or specialists who can help you out.

According to Sound Surgical Arts, contact a professional who has an interdisciplinary team working with them. That way, you’ll have access to whatever urgent care your teeth or mouth may need.

3. Handle a Knocked-Out Tooth with Care

Handle a Knocked-Out Tooth with Care

A knocked-out tooth is one of the most alarming dental emergencies. If this happens to you or someone around you, handle the situation carefully to increase the chances of saving the tooth.

Start by picking up the tooth by the crown or chewing surface. Make sure not to touch the root. Gently rinse the tooth with milk or saline solution if it’s dirty.  Try reinserting the tooth back into its place without forcing it. If reinsertion isn’t possible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a container with milk or saliva. Afterward, seek immediate dental attention.

4. Manage Pain and Swelling

Manage Dental Pain and Swelling

Intense pain and swelling almost always accompany dental emergencies. Using pain relievers like ibuprofen can provide temporary relief. After that, don’t hesitate to visit a professional.

Applying a cold pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes can help reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort. Avoid placing aspirin directly on the gum or aching tooth, as it may lead to tissue damage. If you experience severe pain, bleeding, or swelling, that worsens rapidly, head to a dental professional or the nearest emergency room as soon as possible.

5. Protect Cracked or Fractured Teeth

Protect Cracked or Fractured Teeth

According to the CDC, around 26 percent of American adults have to deal with untreated tooth decay. If left untreated for a long time, these decays lead to cracks and fractures.

Cracks or fractures in teeth can expose sensitive nerves and lead to extreme pain. If you suffer a cracked tooth, rinse your mouth gently with warm water to clean the area. To prevent further damage, avoid chewing on the affected side and steer clear of hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. Cover the tooth with temporary dental cement, which is available at most drugstores, to protect it until you can see a dentist.

Never try to use regular glue or any adhesive not meant for dental use. They contain harmful substances and will do you more harm than good. Instead, visit a dental professional immediately to evaluate the extent of the damage and receive appropriate treatment.


According to the WHO Global Oral Health Status Report (2022), around 3.5 billion people are affected by oral diseases worldwide. A lot of these oral problems also include dental problems and come out of nowhere, requiring urgent professional care. That’s why it’s important to keep the above-mentioned points in mind so that you can easily solve your emergency dental problem.


Author Since:  July 4, 2023

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