What to Do If You Have a Dental Emergency?

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what to do if you have a dental emergency

Dental crises can occur at the worst possible times. In the case of a dental emergency—a sudden toothache, a damaged or broken tooth, or trauma to the mouth—knowing what to do can help you alleviate pain and prevent further damage.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps recommended by our dentist in Lethbridge if you experience a dental emergency.

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is a sudden, unanticipated dental problem that needs to be resolved immediately to relieve pain, prevent additional damage, or address significant health risks. Dental crises can range in severity from less serious occurrences like a chipped tooth to more serious ones like a knocked-out tooth or severe mouth infections. The requirement for immediate care to protect the patient’s oral health distinguishes a dental emergency.

Common examples of dental emergencies include:

  • Toothache
  • Knocked out teeth
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Severe tooth infection or abscess
  • Loose or dislodged teeth
  • Severe gum bleeding
  • Object stuck between the teeth
  • Injury to the soft tissue

It’s important to remember that not all dental problems are emergencies. Dental emergencies do not include normal problems like needing regular checkups, tooth cleanings, or scheduled treatments like fillings or crowns. However, any sudden and severe pain, bleeding, trauma, or other symptoms that cause urgent discomfort should be treated as a dental emergency, and immediate expert dental treatment is necessary to avoid consequences. It is advised to consult with a dentist near you or other healthcare providers for assistance if you are unclear if your situation is considered a dental emergency.

Steps to Take If You Experience a Dental Emergency

Stay Calm

Keeping your cool is always the first and most important step. Panicking can exacerbate a difficult circumstance and impede your ability to think practically. Take a deep breath and concentrate on the steps you need to take to address the problem.

Assess the Situation

Examine the extent of the issue. Are you experiencing a toothache, a shattered tooth, a knocked-out tooth, or something else entirely? Your choice of the best course of action will be aided by your comprehension of the emergency’s nature.


If you have a toothache, gently rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to eliminate any possible irritating food particles. To control discomfort, one can use over-the-counter painkillers, however, aspirin should not be applied directly to the gums since it might irritate them.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Rinse your mouth out completely with warm water to clean the area around any damaged or chipped teeth. To prevent bleeding and preserve broken pieces, apply gauze to the area. A dentist should be consulted as soon as possible to evaluate the damage and decide on the most appropriate treatment.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Time is of the essence when restoring a knocked-out tooth. Don’t touch the tooth’s base; handle it by the crown. If the tooth is stained, gently rinse it rather than scrubbing it. If possible, try placing the tooth back in its socket. To keep it there, gently bite down on a piece of clean gauze or cloth. If this isn’t an option, put the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva and visit a dentist immediately for the highest possibility of successful re-implantation.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Clean the area carefully with warm water if you have a cut or damage to your lips, tongue, or inside of your mouth. Apply pressure with a fresh cloth or gauze to prevent bleeding. Seek medical assistance if the bleeding doesn’t stop or the damage is serious.

Call Your Dentist

Whatever the dental emergency, it’s important to contact your dentist immediately. Explain the circumstances and follow their instructions. Dentists are equipped to deal with crises and can advise you appropriately or set up an urgent appointment at emergency dentistry in Lethbridge.


Even though it’s difficult to foresee when a dental emergency may happen, there are things you can do to reduce the possibility. Avoid using your teeth to open packages or bite into hard objects, practice proper dental hygiene, and use safety equipment while participating in sports or other activities that might cause facial injuries.

Get Emergency Dental Care at Absolute Dental!

Experience a dental emergency? Don’t wait—turn to our reliable emergency dentistry near you for prompt and professional dental care. Whether it’s a severe toothache, a knocked-out tooth, or any other severe dental condition, our experienced team is prepared to offer prompt assistance. Your dental health is our priority, and we’re available to provide immediate relief and knowledgeable answers whenever needed.

Book your appointment today!