Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them


Teeth problems can strike suddenly and wreak havoc on your day. Whether it’s a simple toothache or something more complex like swelling or a loose tooth, these problems can end up disrupting your daily routines. In any case, trying to nurse them at home can often make things worse.

So, how exactly do we deal with a dental emergency? We’re talking about situations that demand immediate attention from a dentist, day or night. Let’s take a look at some common dental emergencies and discuss how to treat or prevent them. Primecare Dental is home to the finest emergency dentists in Auckland, ready to react to any dire dental issue.


Why emergency dental services?

First, we need to understand why emergency dental care is important before we get into the nitty-gritty of common dental emergencies among people of all ages. Remember, these issues don’t just affect your mouth – they can impact your overall health if left untreated. We all want strong, healthy teeth for life, so ignoring sudden dental issues is simply not an option.

Here’s a thumb rule: unresolved dental problems lead to more problems. When you treat a dental emergency promptly, it doesn’t just relieve pain and discomfort but also preserves your natural teeth and any dental work you have, like crowns or braces. Apart from this, it saves time and money by preventing future health complications.

First signs of trouble

Just like with any health problem, dental emergencies are also better off treated as soon as possible to reduce the toll they take on your body. The signs are usually clear: if you’re experiencing noticeable tooth pain that disrupts your daily life, it’s time to take action. While tooth pain itself might not be an emergency, dealing with it right away can prevent it from getting worse and turning into a situation where you need to find an emergency dentist.

Besides pain, watch out for other signs like bleeding from your teeth or gums, tooth discolouration, or signs of infection. In many cases, when these problems are brushed aside, patients end up with loose or lost teeth. So, make an appointment with a dentist immediately to prevent further problems.

Some common dental emergencies

Sudden toothache

Abrupt pain in your teeth isn’t just a single problem; it hints at an underlying issue with your dental health, ranging from decaying teeth to gum or root problems. While toothaches might not always be emergencies, they can worsen and lead to swelling.

Instead of relying solely on painkillers like aspirin, consider using a cold compress applied to the side of your cheek or gargling with salt water for relief. However, these are just first-aid measures and not substitutes for proper dental treatment.

Physical injury

Chipping or breaking a tooth is common and it mostly happens from accidents like falls or biting down on hard food. More serious accidents can even knock teeth out, which also accounts for a dental emergency. As specialists in restorative dentistry, Primecare Dental’s experienced team is well-equipped to deal with issues like chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth. 

Whatever your issue is, make an appointment immediately to preserve your precious smile. Even if your tooth is knocked out, there’s still a chance for successful replantation if you gently pick it up without touching the root and bring it to the dentist within a specific timeframe.

Damaged orthodontics and dental work

There’s a good reason why dentists and orthodontists stress how important it is to maintain dental work like dental fillings, crowns, braces, or bridges. If they break, crack, or fall out, they have to be taken care of immediately, without fail. This prevents the need for further dental work and saves you the time and money that you invested to get them initially.

Bleeding and swelling

One of the most noticeable signs of trouble with your teeth is when you experience bleeding and facial swelling. While slight bleeding can occur from flossing a little too hard, it becomes concerning when the cause isn’t obvious. When coupled with swelling, it demands urgent care as it points toward more serious issues linked to lymph nodes.

Other common emergencies

When a nerve is exposed or when there is an infection like an abscess, it raises a lot of alarms about your teeth and their condition. Either way, these symptoms are painful and uncomfortable, making them hard to ignore. Abscesses could bring more issues like pain, fever, and a pimple-type growth on your gums. Moreover, some patients may experience complications after a dental procedure, beyond typical dental post-op pain. All of these scenarios qualify as emergencies requiring immediate attention.

How to prevent them

Most dental emergencies are often unavoidable, but it’s still possible to prevent them with a few simple measures. Taking precautions like wearing a mouthguard during sports can save your teeth from getting broken or chipped. Avoid hard or chewy foods, especially if you have some dental work done in your mouth. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine can go a long way towards safeguarding your teeth from these issues.

Some strict no’s during an emergency

Apart from first aid, there are some things to keep in mind when you’re in the middle of a dental emergency. For example, some patients ignore some obvious pointers like continuing to eat, drink, or even smoke, which worsens the oral situation. Using painkillers haphazardly can even burn your gum tissue and complicate things further. In the case of a knocked-out tooth, strictly avoid using home remedies or adhesives to reattach it back in your mouth. 


The key takeaway here is to always have your emergency dentist’s contact information ready. Some patients miss out on this step and go to general practitioners or emergency rooms for dental issues in search of quick, temporary pain relief. For a permanent solution, trust only your dentist’s expertise. 

In Auckland, Primecare Dental provides emergency dental services in our state-of-the-art clinics at three convenient locations: Mangere Bridge, Highland Park, and Papatoetoe. We also have a clinic in Palmerston North. We reserve two emergency appointment slots daily, exclusively for urgent dental care. Contact us to book your dental appointment and find your emergency dentist in Auckland today!

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