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April 28, 2022

How to Determine Dental Emergencies & Prevent Them

Have you wondered what will happen if you ignore a dental problem? It increases the need for extensive treatment and the risk of permanent damage. But it is essential to understand the difference between emergency dental situations and a general dental issue that one can resolve by giving it some time. Emergency dental problems can cause more pain, threaten health or cost a tooth. There are numerous dentists in and around Chennai to recognize dental emergencies effectively. If you want the best diagnosis, reach out to our dental clinic, we have the most proficient dentist in Medavakkam and Gowrivakkam. Let us see how to analyze and determine a dental emergency.

A Brief on the Ways to Determine a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is a dental problem that needs immediate attention to alleviate pain, save the tooth, and stop other symptoms like bleeding, pus formation, etc. Severe pain, bleeding, infection, and abscess can be life-threatening and are indications that one has to visit a dentist immediately. In rare scenarios, the problems which look critical can wait to meet the dentist for a day or so with good care and home remedies. For example, a cracked or chipped tooth that does not bother you can wait. Similarly, mild tooth pain can wait for some time until the pain becomes severe. But, it is essential to know when to wait and when to rush in for an emergency.

List of Dental Emergencies & Care to be Taken

Soft Tissue Injury

Tongue, gums, lips and inner part of the cheek contain soft tissues. When injuries like punctures, tears, and lacerations happen in anyone of them, it starts to bleed, leading to an emergency. To control the bleeding, you have to follow the steps mentioned here.

  1. Apply pressure to the bleeding site with a moistened tea bag or gauze. In order to control bleeding, hold it in place for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  2. Try rinsing your mouth with a solution of mild saltwater.
  3. Place a cold compress on the affected area for a minimum of 5 minutes to relieve pain and control bleeding. Cold compress is effective for the cheek and outside regions of the mouth.


There may be various types of tooth pains indicating a wide range of dental problems. By identifying the cause, it is possible to provide the proper treatment for patients. There are two common tooth pain causes. They are when:

  • Something is stuck in between the teeth
  • There is a pulpy infection

When the tooth pain worsens with time, it is essential to seek help from an emergency dentist. Meanwhile, the things to do are:

  1. Rinsing the mouth with warm water.
  2. To remove any lodged food in between the teeth, use dental floss.
  3. Use over-the-counter medications until you meet the dentist to alleviate your pain and discomfort.
  4. In the event of a swollen mouth, apply a cold compress to get relief from pain.

Loose or Knocked-out Teeth

A dentist can reinsert a loose tooth back in place and preserve a knocked-out tooth. A tooth may be knocked out due to a heavy impact, and when they are returned to its socket with the help of a dentist within one hour, there are high chances to save it. The care which you should take under such circumstances before reaching a dentist are:

  1. Pick up the tooth carefully by holding it on the crown. Do not touch the root.
  2. Gently rinse off the root in running water if it is dirty, without scrubbing.
  3. If the tooth is shaking, it is your responsibility to hold it in its socket, preventing it from falling out by gently biting it.
  4. Over-the-counter pain relievers help relieve pain, and when combined with a cold compress outside the mouth, it works wonders to manage pain.
  5. If the tooth has already come out, you can try reinserting it into its socket by yourself. But if you can’t, preserve the fallen tooth in a tiny container with milk until you get to the dentist. By doing so, you increase the chance of saving the tooth.

Also Read: Why Are Dental Check-ups Important?

Broken Crown

Dental crowns have a higher chance of breaking and falling off, leaving the tooth vulnerable to damage and infection. If you reach out to a dentist immediately, you can eliminate the need for tooth extraction and root canal procedures. But in a situation when you are unable to make it to the dentist, try the following for temporary relief.

  • Apply clove oil to the area around the tooth using a cotton swab.
  • Try slipping the crown over the tooth using dental cement, dental adhesive, or toothpaste to help the crown sit in its position.

Missing Filling

A tooth filling gives strength and protection. Missing a filling will expose the tooth’s nerves and increasing the chance of chipping or breaking easily. It also increases the risk of developing various dental problems that require immediate treatment. Therefore when a filling comes off, you can temporarily manage the situation by,

  1. Using over-the-counter dental cement.
  2. Sticking a sugarless gum piece into the cavity.

Abscessed Tooth

Abscesses occur around the tooth’s root or in spaces between the gums and teeth. Abscesses are infections that might cause tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, fever, persistent tooth pain, lymph node swelling in the neck, pimple-like bumps on the gums near the infected tooth, and face swelling. When left untreated, the infection might spread to various body parts. To combat the pain, you have to keep rinsing your mouth with a solution of mild saltwater which draws the pus formed in the abscess and reduces pain.

Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Teeth can crack or chip while biting hard objects, due to an accident or doing irrelevant things apart from chewing and biting. If you have tooth fragments, rinse them, preserve them in a glass of milk or water, and visit an emergency dentist as early as possible. The care to be taken before reaching the dentist are:

  1. Apply gauze if the affected area is bleeding for at least ten minutes and wait until the bleeding stops.
  2. Place a cold compress on the cheeks, lips, or outside of the mouth, which is close to the chipped or cracked tooth. It will help in reducing the swelling and relieving pain.

Missing Dental Restoration

Dental restoration may be either permanent or temporary. Both are liable to become loose or fall out. If the restoration comes off, you can use chapstick, denture adhesive, or Vaseline to restore it until you visit the dentist. But when a wire breaks and a band or bracket is poking the tongue, cheek, or gum, you can push the wire back into its position using an eraser end. If you cannot reposition the wire, take a cotton ball, gauze, or orthodontic wax to cover the end of the wire until you visit the dentist.

Essential Tips to Follow to Avoid Dental Emergencies

If you pay close attention to what your body and teeth are indicating, you will be able to realize the signs they are stating regarding an emergency. Here we have compiled a few tips on selecting the best dental plan for you and your family.

  1. Stay proactive with your oral hygiene practices. Make routine appointments with the dentists and analyze your teeth for loose crowns or fillings and gum disease or tooth decay signs.
  2. Follow your post-care instructions if you have had a tooth extracted to avoid further risks like infection or dry socket.
  3. Wear mouth guards, helmets, or face cages if you play sports. This will protect your mouth and teeth effectively.

Closing Remarks
By following the above mentioned tips you can self-analyze your dental health and take steps accordingly. Eventually by reading the entire article you can conclude that a few of the common dental emergencies are toothaches, chipped teeth, loose fillings, missing restorations, and everything else mentioned above. Our dental hospital in Gowrivakkam and Medavakkam, Chennai, provides the best treatment for every dental emergency with well-equipped infrastructure and qualified professionals.

Our Branches

6/13, First Floor,
Velachery main road,
Medavakkam, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu - 600100.


141-168, Velachery Rd,
New Kunagkurichi, Gowriwakkam,
Sembakkam, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu - 600117.

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