What is Considered a Dental Emergency and What to Do if One Occurs?

What is Considered a Dental Emergency and What to Do if One Occurs?

July 1, 2023

A dental emergency is a situation that needs speedy attention by a dentist. Most emergency dental patients experience signs like excruciating pain, swelling or bleeding in their gums or mouth. Dental emergencies can result from trauma from a fall, accident or a failed dental procedure. When left untreated, some dental issues can cause severe dental problems like infections, loss of teeth, impaired speech and inability to chew. Therefore, it is paramount to seek immediate assistance from a dentist near you if you experience a dental emergency

What Are Common Causes of Dental Emergencies?

The causes of dental emergencies include the following:

  • Injury or trauma to the mouth caused by trauma from a fall, fight, or a sports-related accident
  • An infection from an advanced tooth decay
  • Untreated gum disease
  • A dental abscess, which can cause pain, fever and swelling
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Loose dental restorations like braces and dental fillings
  • Impacted wisdom teeth

What Are Some Common Dental Emergencies?

Some examples of dental issues that may require emergency dental care near you include the following:

  • Severe dental pain
  • Facial swelling
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Broken tooth
  • Loose dental restorations like crown fillings
  • Infections or abscess
  • An object stuck in between teeth

Are Toothaches Considered Dental Emergencies?

In most cases, severe toothaches that cause pain and fever can be considered a dental emergency. However, toothaches that don't require immediate dental attention are not dental emergencies. Examples of toothaches that are considered dental emergencies include the following:

  • Severe toothaches accompanied by fever, swelling and difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • Toothaches that result from a broken tooth
  • Toothaches as a result of dental abscess

Nevertheless, it would help to book an appointment with an emergency dentist in Sugar Land to ascertain if your toothache requires emergency dental care. Additionally, even mild toothaches may be an implication of underlying dental issues. Visiting a dentist will help treat any dental problem before they become more severe and cause an infection.

How do I Know If What I'm Experiencing Is a Dental Emergency?

Sometimes it's not easy to determine if what you are experiencing is a dental emergency, more if you are in pain. Here are tell-tale signs that you are indeed experiencing a dental emergency and need to visit an emergency dental clinic near you.

  • You are experiencing severe pain from your tooth, gum or jaw that won’t go away even with medication
  • If you are bleeding profusely from your mouth or gum
  • Pain and swelling in your gums, face or jaw
  • A painful dental abscess that makes chewing food difficult
  • Injury or trauma to your mouth or teeth
  • A tooth that is knocked out or broken
  • If you experience symptoms like pain, fever, chills and difficulty breathing.
  • A foul odour emanating from your mouth may be a sign of an underlying dental issue.

Seeking emergency dental assistance if you are experiencing any of these symptoms will help you get the proper treatment for any underlying issues.

What Should I Do If I Have A Dental Emergency?

In case of a dental emergency, it would help to take the following steps:

  • Contact an emergency dental clinic or your dentist
  • Take a pain reliever to alleviate the pain before you visit an emergency dentist
  • Describe your symptoms to an emergency dentist on your appointment
  • Follow instructions given by your emergency dentist, including taking medication, changing your diet and applying a cold compress to help alleviate pain.
  • Carry all the necessary documentation to your dentist, including your insurance information and dental records, to your appointment.
  • Get to your appointment at the appointed time to receive immediate medical attention.
  • Follow up with your dentist and inform them if the pain persists or if the dental situation becomes more serious.


A dental emergency is any dental situation accompanied by excruciating pain, bleeding or inflammation. Toothaches can be dental emergencies if accompanied by pain, abscess, fever or if it's a result of trauma. Are you looking for a reputable emergency dentist near you? Dr. Moiz Harani from Elegant Dental Sugar Land is a verified emergency dentist who can handle even the most severe dental emergencies. Visit our office today for general, cosmetic and emergency dental procedures.

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