The Right Care For Tooth Emergencies

When a Toothache Becomes an Emergency: Essential Steps for Urgent Dental Situations

A toothache may not seem like a medical emergency. However, the discomfort it can cause can ruin an entire day, especially if the ache turns into a serious pain that is not responding to at-home relief efforts.

During regular business hours, a call to the dentist may be your first step. But what should you do after hours, over the weekend, if your dentist is booked solid, or if dental pain is the result of an injury or infection?

Any type of serious pain that can’t be treated at home—including tooth pain (which seems to be especially hard to ignore)—can be addressed 24/7 at The Emergency Center.

A man appears to be in discomfort, holding his cheek and closing his eyes, possibly indicating a tooth emergency or dental pain

Three Tooth Emergencies

A mild ache, a superficial chip or crack in the tooth, or minor discomfort caused by something small lodged in the teeth can probably wait for the dentist. But fast care at The Emergency Center may be in order in certain circumstances.

  • Severe tooth pain regardless of the cause. There is no reason to suffer. While often what triggered the pain may be obvious, sometimes it’s not. That’s all the more reason to seek care quickly since the culprit could be an infection impacting the teeth or gums that need to be diagnosed and treated before it gets worse.
  • Tooth pain with facial swelling or small bumps along the gums. This can be a sign of an abscess tooth—an infection in the root of the tooth. This infection can spread and damage more tissue around other teeth and gumline if not promptly cared for.
  • Missing, seriously cracked, or broken teeth. Seeking emergency care if you can’t immediately get in to see the dentist can help preserve the tooth, care for the gums, and prevent an infection. This can help with repair and sometimes even will allow the tooth to be saved.

Two To-Dos For Your Tooth Before Seeking Care

While applying pressure to any bleeding injury is usually best practice before heading to The Emergency Center, bleeding as the result of a mouth injury that knocks out or breaks a tooth can be a little trickier. Here’s how to handle it.

  • Ball up some gauze and use it to apply pressure to the wound inside the mouth. If the entire tooth is knocked out and you have it, try to quickly rinse it off (holding it by the enamel, not the roots) and put it back in the socket then hold it in place with gauze.
  • If it is not possible to put the tooth cleanly back in the socket or if it is broken off, bring the tooth/tooth fragments with you in a container of milk or saltwater. This may preserve the tooth and could possibly even help save it in some cases.

Tooth pain is never fun. That makes finding relief fast worth more than a smile.

Enjoy life. We’ll be here for the bumps along the way. ™


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644