5 Common Dental Emergencies and How to Resolve Them

Dental Health Advice

Common dental emergencies occur every day, whether you’re prone to dental accidents or have a perfect history when it comes to caring for your teeth. With that being said, it’s important that you know what to do when you do find yourself facing a dental emergency.

Some common dental emergencies can be partially treated at home (while you wait for your appointment) and others will require immediate attention.

What counts as a dental emergency?

There are many issues that can be classed as a dental problem, knowing when to visit an emergency dentist will ensure you get the right treatment you need. Most common dental emergencies are classified as damage to the teeth or gums, persistent pain that does not subside, bleeding, facial swelling, dental trauma, infections and broken, chipped or lost teeth. 

A dental emergency will require immediate attention, whereas smaller issues can wait for regular, in-hours appointments with your dentist.


Toothaches and pains can are common dental emergencies that can indicate several conditions – both minor and major, including cavities and tooth decay. In most instances toothaches are manageable until you can access a regular dental appointment. However, there are tell-tale signs that the issue may be more serious than expected. This includes:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Ongoing or excessive pain

While pain relief and home remedies such as a cold compress are recommended as a short term solution, it is crucial that you visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Leaving a toothache for too long can result in worse issues arising.

Chipped, broken or lost teeth

Lost, chipped or broken teeth are common dental emergencies, and can be extremely painful. When booking an emergency dental appointment you may be advised to use a cold compress or the responsible use of over the counter pain medication for immediate, short term pain relief.   

If you are suffering from chipped, broken or lost teeth there are a few things to be wary of:

  • Try to avoid chewing heavily on hard or crunchy foods
  • If you tooth fell out, you may be able to save it if you bring it along to your emergency dentist as soon as possible
  • Avoid sports or extreme activities that may result in further damage to the teeth and surrounding area

Despite being common dental emergencies, the only ebay to resolve these issues are through immediate care from a professional dentist. We recommend finding your nearest emergency dentist and booking an appointment at your earliest convenience if you are experiencing and broken, lost or chipped teeth.

Dental Abscesses

Abscesses are a very serious dental emergency that must be treated professionally. They are severe infections in the mouth, on or around the infected teeth and gums. When left untreated the infection can spread to the surrounding teeth and tissue, and the rest of the body – resulting in severe health issues.

So, what does a dental abscess look like? Typically, dental abscesses look similar to painful pimples or swollen spots on your gums. For temporary pain relief you can rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution or use a cold compress on the swollen area. If you think you may have an abscess please do not hesitate to book an emergency dental appointment today.

Broken orthodontics

Broken orthodontics are considered as common dental emergencies. However, they cannot be fixed at home and must be treated by a dental professional. Please note, this refers to non-cosmetic orthodontics i.e. traditionally braces – meaning treatments such as Invisalign do not count as a dental emergency.

If the metal wires in your braces break or become damaged, you may be at risk of cuts from the sharp wires or a choking hazard.The severity of the damage will determine whether you need an emergency dentist or a regular dental appointment.

For immediate relief while waiting for your appointment try covering the exposed metal wire with orthodontic wax, gauze or a small cotton ball.

Ongoing bleeding after treatments

Minor bleeding after a dental operation is normal, however if it is excessive or ongoing for an hour post-op you will need to speak with your dentist. In the meantime you can use a gauze to stop the bleeding until you can be seen by an emergency dentist. 

For more information on your common dental emergencies, call 03301 759995 for a face-to-face appointment, or book a video dentist consultation if you’re unable to visit a clinic.

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