Types of Dental Emergencies

Many things in our daily lives can seem like emergencies, particularly when they involve our teeth. Still, there are certain types of dental emergencies that require immediate dental care.

While you should call your dentist whenever you have tooth pain, there are some situations in which you should call your dentist or go to the emergency room right away:

Abscessed tooth

An abscessed tooth is a serious infection of the tooth that can cause serious oral health concerns. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can lead to tooth loss.

It occurs when an infection or cavity spreads to the tooth’s pulp chamber. This can cause swelling, pain, and pressure. The infection can lead to bone loss if left untreated.


A toothache is the most obvious sign of a dental emergency. Even if the pain is mild, you should make an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. However, if the pain is severe, such as with a bad fracture or abscess, you need to see the dentist immediately.

Damaged teeth

If a tooth or several teeth have been cracked, chipped, or knocked out, you need to call us immediately. In some cases, we may be able to rebuild the structure of the tooth. In other cases, we will need to replace the tooth.

Knocked-out teeth

If the tooth is knocked out, do not attempt to put it back into the socket. Rinse the tooth with water, being careful not to touch the root of the tooth. Place the tooth back into its socket, if possible. If you can’t, place the tooth in a container of milk and bring it with you to our office.

Broken braces or wires

One common dental emergency is when your braces or wires break. Wires can break if they slip off of your brackets and into the soft tissues of your mouth. This can cause discomfort and make it difficult to eat.

If your braces or wires break, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can use orthodontic wax to cover the broken piece of your appliance.

Sudden swelling or bleeding of the gums

Gums may become swollen or bleed suddenly for several reasons. If you experience this, you should seek dental treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, the swelling or bleeding may worsen and affect your ability to eat and speak.

Swollen gums may be a sign of infection. Any type of infection in the gums should be treated promptly. When an infection is left untreated, it can spread to the bloodstream and cause other serious health problems.

Objects caught between teeth or under the gums

Sometimes an object, such as a piece of food, is caught between teeth and becomes stuck. If this occurs at mealtime, you may be able to remove the object from your teeth with dental floss. If this does not work, you can rinse your mouth with warm water and put a cold compress on your face. If the object cannot be dislodged, visit your dentist’s office.

Never use sharp tools to try to dislodge an object. This can damage your teeth.

In case of a dental emergency, visit us for consultation at Shepherd Dental at 915-D N Shepherd Dr. Ste. D, Houston, TX 77008, or contact us at (713) 864-3993. We will be happy to guide you further.


915-D N Shepherd Dr Ste. D, Houston, TX 77008

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Phone: (713) 864-3993

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