5 Dental Emergencies and How to Manage Them

Dealing with a dental emergency may be unpleasant, but it is the best way to minimize the pain you are going through and address the problem.

Tooth pain or discomfort should generally prompt you to make an appointment with your dentist. Ignoring dental problems can lead to a variety of problems, from prolonged pain and difficulties eating to heart disease. When it comes to dental trauma or infection, these emergencies don’t allow any postponing.

st. louis with a severe toothache

If you are not sure whether your pain qualifies as a dental emergency and you want to know what you can do about it, here is a list of the most common dental emergencies.


Whether it signals a cavity, tooth decay, gum disease or some other problem, the dreaded toothache may be a sign of trouble. It can be a very debilitating pain which radiates and pulsates. When you experience such pain, you need to see your dentist for a diagnose. However, until you get to the dentist’s office, you may consider taking an over the counter anti-inflammatory, as reducing the swelling will help ease the pain. If you are postponing your visit because you are afraid of the procedure, our St. Louis sedation dentist can make the entire process comfortable for you.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

If you get a crack in a tooth or you chip off a piece of it, chances are it is not really an emergency. The dentist can schedule you right away for a consultation, just to see what steps he will need to take next time. If you are in pain, though, he will likely act right away.

Depending on the depth of the crack or the size of the chipped piece, you can experience discomfort at tooth level, especially if the dentin is exposed. You can also hurt your tongue or cheeks in sharp edges, so try to chew on the other side to protect them as much as you can.

Swollen Face

If other conditions are more or less urgent and could wait a day or two if you’re not in great pain, a swollen face likely requires a trip to the emergency room ASAP. It is a symptom that you need to address as soon as possible, as it may indicate an infection. It could be a tooth, your gums or even your bone, and it can spread to your throat or ear.


A tooth or gum abscess is usually annoying and painful enough to send you to the dentist the next day. Sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages, pain on contact, starting to swell are all signs that you might need a root canal.

Bleeding from the Mouth

Any type of bleeding from your mouth is not normal, so schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. In certain cases, it can indicate a chronic gum disease that needs to be addressed before your gums start receding and you lose your teeth. If your bleeding is caused by a dental procedure or an injury and it won’t stop, speak with your dentist ASAP.

Dealing with a dental emergency may be unpleasant, but it is the best way to minimize the pain you are going through and avoid improvised treatments that don’t really address the problem. Leave it to the professionals to take the best course of action and remember it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Give The Dental Anesthesia Center a call today at (314) 862-7844.

Updated: February 28, 2019

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