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What should be considered a true dental emergency?

What should be considered a true dental emergency?

Sometimes the internet can be a great source of information, other times you see eye-popping headlines and overly dramatic stories that leave you questioning what's really going on. Whether it be an online article or credit card offers that come in the mail, how many of them actually pan out well? In this article you'll find out what would be considered a true dental emergency.

What is a dental emergency?


A dental emergency is when there is an issue with a person’s teeth that requires immediate attention. This could include anything from a toothache to a cracked tooth. If the issue is not resolved within 24 hours, it can lead to more serious dental problems, like an infection or even tooth loss. Because dental emergencies can be so serious, it’s important to know what constitutes one. 

A dental emergency can be properly treated if it's recognized and addressed in a timely manner. Here are some tips to help identify a dental emergency: 

  • Experience severe pain, swelling, redness or bleeding from a tooth, see your dentist immediately

  • Have difficulty eating or drinking because of the pain, see your dentist

  • If there is any sign of decay on the teeth or surrounding area, see your dentist for an evaluation.


Some common dental emergencies


A dental emergency means that one or more of your teeth are in serious condition and require immediate attention. 

Some of the most common dental emergencies include: 


  • Unexplainable tooth pain




When tooth pain is so severe that it prevents you from eating or drinking, or causes severe distress, then that may be a dental emergency. If the pain is unrelenting, lasts for more than two days, or worsens with any activity, then you must seek professional help immediately. 


  • Bleeding gums




Bleeding gums can also be a signal of a serious problem. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after using a toothbrush and water, or if the dentist evaluates and demands immediate attention, it would be considered a dental emergency.

The main causes of bleeding gums are:

- Periodontitis: This is an inflammatory disease that affects the gums and surrounding tissue. It’s most often caused by plaque build-up on your teeth and can lead to gum infection and eventual tooth loss. 

- Gingivitis: This is a less severe form of gum disease that causes redness, pain, and bleeding around the gum line. 

- Bleeding Dental Trauma: A dental injury can cause hemorrhages from the area around the teeth. 

- Fractured Teeth: When teeth are fractured, they can cause bleeding from openings inside the gums.

If you experience any of these signs of bleeding gums, see your dentist immediately!


  • Broken tooth




If a tooth is broken, either randomly or as a result of trauma, it will need to be repaired or replaced. This can often be done in a single surgery session if the break isn’t too severe. If the break is more significant or if there are multiple fractures around the tooth, then it may be necessary to have the tooth extracted and replaced with an artificial one. 


  • Missing tooth or filling




The most common dental emergency is when a tooth is missing or has been knocked out. In these cases, the tooth must be replaced as soon as possible to ensure proper oral hygiene and overall health. If a filling is missing, this can lead to bacteria build up and an infection. 


  • Mouth or jaw suddenly becomes swollen




This may be caused by a failing root canal, a dental abscess, or a fracture. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if this occurs, so that the swelling can be reduced and the teeth can be properly treated.

Treatments for common dental emergencies


Here are four treatments that may be necessary in a dental emergency: 

Toothache: There are several things you can do to alleviate a toothache, including drinking cool water, applying pressure to the impacted tooth, taking over-the-counter pain relief medications, and using ice. If all of those methods fail, see a dentist.

Broken Tooth: If you break a tooth, the most important thing is to stay calm. Rinse the area with water and gently remove any fragments of the broken piece with a gauze pad or floss. 

Root canal: This is an emergency procedure to treat a tooth that is infected, cracked, or abscessed. To perform a root canal, your dentist will use a special type of drill called an endodontic explorer. This tool is inserted into the tooth’s centre and used to locate and remove the infected or decayed roots. If needed, your dentist may also use a scalpel or laser to cut away any damaged tissue.

Crown fracture: This occurs when a crown falls off of a tooth. A crown fits over the root of a tooth and stands up like a cap. If a crown fracture happens, the tooth is pulled and the area around the fracture is cleaned and treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, this can lead to serious infection.

Don't let dental issues hold you back. Schedule an appointment today with an emergency dentist in Didsbury.


Dental emergencies are unpredictable and often go unnoticed until it is too late. If you have any concerns about your dental health, be sure to see a dentist as soon as possible if you notice anything unusual or concerning. Emergency dentistry is available to residents of Didsbury and the surrounding areas. If you experience a dental emergency, don't wait to get help. Contact an emergency dentist at Didsbury Smiles Dental Clinic Near You today for a fast, professional solution.

When it comes to teeth, anything can go wrong. This includes things like chipped teeth, cavities, financial hardship leading to a change in oral hygiene habits (i.e., not flossing), or even simple things like eating too much sugary food that can cause swelling and damage to the gums and teeth. If you ever experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit a dentist as soon as possible for an assessment and treatment plan specific to your individual situation.

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