Dental Emergencies: When Should You See a Dentist ASAP?

Dental Emergencies: When Should You See a Dentist ASAP?

No matter how careful you are about oral hygiene and dental visits, sometimes dental emergencies come up. You bite the wrong way. Hard food does something to a tooth. An accident occurs and you have an injured mouth. 

A dental emergency can come up for any number of reasons. The important thing is to handle it right away. Ignoring a potential problem in your mouth means it will only get worse. 

Have you ever had an achy tooth or something that didn’t feel quite right? You probably wondered if you should call the dentist or just hope it would go away. 

Read on to learn more about dental emergencies and when you should get in to see your dentist. 

What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?

Do you call the dentist to get in right away for an achy tooth? You might wonder when something is considered an emergency. The truth is that your dentist would much rather you come in to see them if you think you have an issue than choose to ignore the problem in your mouth. 

If you have significant pain or lasting pain in your mouth, you should see a dentist right away. If the pain prevents you from eating or sleeping, you need to be seen right away. 

There are a number of specific issues with your teeth that would also tell you it’s time to call the dentist. Let’s take a closer look. 


The simplest fact is that your teeth shouldn’t hurt. If you have a tooth that is aching or has sharp pain, there’s a problem. It’s your mouth telling you something is wrong. 

If your pain:

  • Comes on suddenly
  • Gets progressively getting worse
  • Intense pain

You should make an appointment to see the dentist as quickly as possible. An aching tooth can mean a number of different things. The one that’s for sure, the aching tooth won’t fix itself and it’s sure to get worse by ignoring the problem. 

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked tooth or a chipped tooth is another potential emergency for your mouth. You can crack or chip a tooth by biting down on or chewing something hard. 

If you’re a person who clenches their teeth or grinds them, a chip or crack can happen from the pressure on your teeth from these actions. 

A chipped or broken tooth needs to be addressed before it becomes worse. If you have it looked at it right away, you might be able to save the tooth with a crown.

Loose Permanent Tooth

Of course, you know baby teeth loosen and come out naturally. This happens when the permanent tooth is ready to come in to replace the baby tooth. For the most part, this is not a concern and it’s part of growing up. 

However, as an adult, if you get a loose permanent tooth this can be a big issue. You don’t want to lose a permanent tooth. If a tooth is loose, you want to do everything possible to prevent moving it and having it come out of the tooth socket. 

See your dentist to check the integrity of the tooth. 

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

A lost permanent tooth is a genuine dental emergency and you want to see your dentist as quickly as possible. If you can locate the tooth, you want to get yourself and the tooth into the dentist right away. If you act quickly enough, your dentist may be able to save the tooth. 

Carefully place the missing tooth in milk. Avoid touching the root of the tooth when handling it. The dentist may be able to place and secure the tooth back in your mouth. 

Abscessed or Swollen Gums

Many people will experience sore gums or maybe even a little blood from their gums on occasion. If the soreness is mild, you might rinse your mouth carefully and keep an eye on the problem. 

You need to be concerned when the pain is severe and there is significant bleeding. This can be a sign of an abscess in your gums that needs to be looked at by the dentist right away. 

Soft Tissue Around the Mouth

Another potential issue that may require you to be seen by the dentist is when you have problems with the soft tissue around your mouth. 

A soft tissue injury can happen from:

  • Lacerations
  • Punctures
  • Tears to the tissue

If you get hit in the mouth, the soft tissue can bleed. You want the dentist to check not only the tissue but also the teeth that may have been impacted. 

Lost Filling or Crown

A lost filling or crown might be an emergency because you don’t want anything to happen to the structure of the tooth that was part of the filling or crown. If a crown comes off, for example, the tooth it once covered is likely fragile.  You could cause more damage to the tooth if you don’t get it addressed right away.

Don’t Overlook a Dental Emergency Because of Dental Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for many people to experience dental anxiety. Even people who visit the dentist regularly may have some. However, dentists like Dr Ho are doing amazing work to lower anxiety levels for patients. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist, don’t ignore these potential emergencies. Allow the doctor and her well-trained staff to help make you comfortable from the moment you enter the office, through treatment, to when you’re leaving again. 

Get the Help You Need for All Your Dental Emergencies

 Dental emergencies should not be ignored. They will only get worse with time and become potentially more problematic. 

Dr Ho and staff are ready to help you work through the potential problem with your teeth. Contact the office today to set up a time to have your mouth looked at. Don’t ignore your dental emergency.