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The Most Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do Next

The Most Common Dental Emergencies and What to Do Next

If you are like most people, you probably don’t think about dental emergencies until one happens. And when it does, it can be a cause for alarm. What do you do? Where do you go? Who can help? In this article, we will go over the most common dental emergencies and what the next step should be. This will help ease your mind and ensure that any emergency is handled properly.


One of the most common dental emergencies is tooth pain. When a cavity has become so severe that it reaches the nerve, this can cause extreme pain and discomfort. Be sure to make an appointment with your family dentist so they can remove all decay from around the nerve and seal off any openings in order for it to heal properly without further damage occurring later on down the road.

If your dentist cannot see you right away, you should rinse with warm water or floss to remove any food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth. To help with the pain, you can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Toothaches are one of those things where prevention is key! Taking proper care of your teeth and gums through daily brushing, flossing, dentist visits every six months for cleaning and exams; will help prevent toothaches from happening.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth may result from an accident, such as biting down on something hard like candy canes or ice cubes that are too cold for sensitive teeth to handle. It is important not to panic in these instances but instead call your dentist immediately.

If you wait too long to get your cracked tooth fixed, it can quickly turn into a broken tooth. If that happens, make sure to rinse your mouth and apply gauze to the area if it’s bleeding. If it swells, put a cold pack on it to help bring the swelling down until you visit your dentist.

Loss of a Tooth

A tooth can fall out for a few reasons, such as decay, gum disease, or an injury. If you have lost a tooth, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, try to keep the area clean and free from food particles. You can also use a piece of gauze or cotton to apply pressure to the area if there is any bleeding. It is also important not to disturb the socket where the tooth was once located. The dentist will most likely need to replace the missing tooth with either a dental implant or a bridge.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are usually caused by gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums due to plaque buildup. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions such as periodontitis (bone loss) or even tooth loss! You should see a dentist right away if you notice that your gums are bleeding when brushing your teeth or if you notice blood on your floss.

Lost Filling

A lost filling is usually a result of tooth decay. If you have lost a filling, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, rinse your mouth and try to keep the area clean. You can also use a piece of sugarless gum to cover the cavity. If left untreated, it could get infected and even become painful.

Mouth Injury

Mouth injuries are most commonly caused by accidents such as falling down or getting hit in the mouth. If you have an injury to your mouth, you will want to seek emergency treatment. Until then, try not to move your face as much as possible, and if you start bleeding from your cheek, lip, or tongue and it won’t stop, call for emergency help.


An abscess is an infection around the tooth root or between the gums and teeth. If you notice an abscess and painful swelling on your gums, then contact your dentist immediately. They can spread to other areas of your body if they aren’t treated. While you wait, you can rinse your mouth serval times a day with mild saltwater, which will help draw out the pus and relieve some of the pain.

If you are unfortunate enough to experience a dental emergency, do not worry. The most important thing is to stay calm and act quickly. Contact Dr. Elston Wong Dentistry as soon as possible and we will be able to help guide you through the next steps.

Are you having an after-hours emergency? Call 705.733.0880 to get the help you need.



Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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