6 Signs You’re Having a Dental Emergency

Our teeth are an important part of us. It’s important to pay enough attention to make sure that they feel okay and to brush regularly. But even highly diligent people with their oral hygiene can feel like something is off from time to time. Depending on what feels wrong it may constitute a real emergency. Or it may simply mean you need to make your next appointment with the dentist sooner rather than later. Here are some signs that what you are experiencing really is a dental emergency.

Damage to a Tooth

Damage to a ToothTeeth can be fragile. A fall, fight, or sports injury can result in a chip or break in a tooth that turns into a real problem. If the chip is very small,  see your dentist as soon as possible, but you won’t need to drop everything. Going in during regular hours should suffice. But for a larger break or crack emergency treatment is advised. Bigger cracks can become infected or lead to nerve pain.

Pain That Interferes With Life

If you are in serious pain and have trouble eating and drinking because your teeth or gums hurt too much, consider this a dental emergency. This goes beyond a little discomfort eating ice cream, although you should mention basic sensitivities to your dentist during your regular visit. Severe pain needs to be tended to with the appropriate treatment started as soon as possible,

Lost or Loose Permanent Tooth

If you’re seven, a wiggly tooth or new gap in your smile is cause for celebration. If you’re an adult, not so much. Once your permanent teeth come in they should stay there unless your dentist or orthodontist has a good reason to remove them. If your tooth feels just a little loose, be careful and make an appointment for your dentist to look at the tooth within the next few days. If the tooth comes out completely you need to act fast to preserve the tooth. Hold the tooth in the socket if possible. If that can’t be done, keep it in a mix of milk and saliva until you get to the dentist.

Possible Abscessed Tooth

Possible Abscessed ToothIf your tooth is abscessed, there is literal poison near the root of your tooth. This definitely calls for a trip to the dentist as soon as possible. There may be an obvious pocket of pus near your gums alerting you to the problem. Likewise you may also notice symptoms like a foul taste in your mouth, swollen lymph nodes, fever, pain while chewing, or swollen gums. A rupture of an abscess may bring pain relief, but it can also lead to further infection throughout your jaw, neck, and even your brain. A dentist can safely drain an abscess and keep these negative effects from taking over.

Inflamed Gums or Jaw

If your gums and jaw are inflamed there is a possibility of infection, which can spread to other parts of your mouth if not treated promptly. The affects are similar to an abscessed tooth because the infection may spread to other parts of your mouth and body. Do not delay in seeking emergency dental treatment.

Non-Stop Bleeding

Bleeding gums once in a while during tooth brushing isn’t the end of the world. Although if it happens regularly, mention it to your dentist at the next appointment. The real concern comes when your gums bleed, and you can’t easily get them to stop bleeding. More severe bleeding often brings equally intense pain with it. You need to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.


Not every discomfort in your mouth constitutes an immediate dental emergency, although some things should be handled in the next few days. Mild or moderate tooth pain without fever can be cause to make an appointment but doesn’t necessarily need an emergency appointment. Missing a crown or filling can also wait a few days and can even be temporarily “filled” with sugarless gum until your dentist can replace it with a proper filling.

At Dental Brothers, we are restorative dentists that help with various dental emergencies. We help bring back your best smile, even when you don’t get to the dentist as soon as you should have. We have two convenient Arizona locations in both Mesa and Phoenix. If you have a dental emergency, or need help because of a recent dental emergency, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us