Skip links

What is a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies can be scary and, in some cases, painful. They can also be confusing, as people may not know what constitutes a dental emergency. If you want to know more about what is a dental emergency, in this blog post, we will define what is considered a dental emergency, provide examples, and explain what steps you should take if you experience one.

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is any situation where you have sudden, severe pain, bleeding, or trauma to your teeth, gums, or mouth. Dental emergencies are problems that require immediate attention from a dentist or medical professional. Ignoring dental emergencies can lead to serious complications, such as infection, tooth loss, or damage to your jawbone.

What is considered a dental emergency?

Examples of dental emergencies include:

Knocked-out tooth

A tooth that has been knocked out of its socket due to trauma is a dental emergency. If this happens, you should try to keep the tooth moist by placing it in milk or saliva and seek immediate dental care.

Broken or chipped tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can be painful and lead to further damage if not treated promptly. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the affected area. Seek dental care as soon as possible.

Severe toothache

A toothache that is severe and sudden may be a sign of an abscess or infection. Seek dental care immediately to prevent further complications.

Gum or mouth injury

Any injury to the gums or mouth that results in bleeding, swelling, or pain is a dental emergency. Apply pressure to the affected area and seek dental care immediately.

A loose or displaced tooth

A tooth that is loose or out of position due to trauma is a dental emergency. Seek dental care immediately to prevent further damage.

What to do in a dental emergency?

In any dental emergency, it is essential to remain calm and seek professional help as soon as possible. If you experience any of the above emergencies, here are some steps you should take:


If you’re experiencing dental pain or discomfort and can’t see your dentist right away, there are several things you can do to manage your symptoms until your appointment.


Rinsing your mouth with warm: As we mentioned above, for a dull toothache, start by rinsing your mouth with warm water and flossing to see if there’s anything stuck between your teeth. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen. Just be sure not to place aspirin directly on your gums, as this can cause tissue damage. To schedule an appointment with your dentist, give them a call.


Cover the area with orthodontic wax: If you have a small chip or crack in your tooth that’s not causing any pain, it’s typically okay to wait until your dentist can see you. However, if there are any sharp edges that are irritating your tongue or cheeks, you can cover the area with orthodontic wax, which can be found in the oral health aisle at most pharmacies.


Broken braces usually aren’t considered a dental emergency unless there’s bleeding involved. If you have a broken wire that’s poking you in the cheek or tongue, you can try gently bending the end of the wire with a pencil eraser or other blunt object. Cover the wire with orthodontic wax until you can see your dentist or orthodontist.


Use dental floss or an interproximal brush: If you have something stuck between your teeth, try to gently remove it with dental floss or an interproximal brush. Avoid using sharp instruments to remove the object, as this can cause more harm than good.


Apply pressure to the affected area: For minor soft tissue injuries, rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution or antibacterial mouthwash. Apply pressure to the affected area with a clean piece of cotton gauze until the bleeding stops, which should take around 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re still experiencing severe bleeding after this time, seek immediate medical attention.


Call your dentist or dental professional immediately.

If you require emergency dental treatment, you should ask to see a dentist as soon as possible. At Hermes London Dental Clinic, we offer a same-day service for all dental emergencies. We can take care of your injuries to ensure you heal quicker and more effectively, so you avoid additional dental problems in the future.


Leave a comment