What Is Considered a Dental Emergency? 9 Common Situations

Posted on: August 24, 2021 | Blog

what is a dental emergencyMost dental services can be scheduled in advance during regular appointments. However, dental emergencies require immediate attention. How do you know when you need emergency dental services? What about an emergency tooth extraction? The following situations can result in a dental emergency, and require immediate attention.

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency, like a medical emergency, requires immediate treatment. Dental emergencies may pose dangers to immediate or long-term health, or it may make everyday life difficult or impossible. A dental emergency may cause a lot of pain or discomfort, bleeding, or it may make it difficult to eat or sleep. It may also involve an infection, which can spread to other parts of the head and face if it is untreated. A tooth infection can even be deadly if it spreads to the brain.

What are Emergency Dental Services?

There are many different types of emergency dental services that can help you in a dental emergency. Just as many emergency medical interventions can protect your health and relieve pain, emergency dental services can do the same. Emergency dental services include restoration, such as a temporary dental crown if part of your tooth is damaged. It might also include an emergency tooth extraction and antibiotic treatment if your tooth is infected. If you have a serious cut or wound in your gums, tongue, cheek or another part of your mouth, emergency dental services might include stitches and antibiotic treatment.

9 Situations That May Be Dental Emergencies

There are many situations that may constitute dental emergencies. The following situations may require emergency dental services, including emergency tooth extraction, antibiotic treatment, restorations and more. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of dental emergencies. If you are in intense pain, seeing excessive bleeding, you suspect you have an infection, or your tooth is cracked or damaged, regardless of the situation, contact your dentist for emergency dental services.

If you are in need of emergency dental services in the Las Vegas area, contact us today at 702-388-8888.

1. Sudden Impact

Sports, household accidents, and a variety of other situations can all cause sudden and intense impacts to your teeth, jaw, and gums. Sometimes, the effects aren’t serious, and you might not notice any damage. However, if your teeth, jaw or gums remain sore and don’t get better, or the pain or bruising worsens, you may need emergency dental services. Your tooth might be cracked, loose, there may be bleeding under the gums, or an infection may have started where the tooth was damaged. In this case, you may need an emergency tooth extraction, antibiotic treatment, pain medication, or another intervention.

2. Loose or Damaged Fillings

If you notice that one of your fillings is loose, or some or all of it has come off the tooth, this is a dental emergency. Your filling is designed to protect your tooth after it’s been damaged by a cavity. If it is loose or missing, the sensitive structures underneath your tooth enamel are vulnerable to bacteria. To prevent an infection or further damage to the tooth, schedule a dental emergency appointment.

3. Loose or Damaged Crowns

A dental crown is used to restore a damaged tooth. Though crowns are made to be sturdy and to attach securely, they can become loose or damaged if the underlying tooth is damaged, if you bite down on a hard object, or if you suffer a blow to the face. If your crown feels loose or damaged, it can expose the remainder of the tooth, and neighboring teeth, to further damage from bacteria. Make an emergency dental appointment right away to repair the crown.

4. Loose or Damaged Permanent Teeth

It’s normal to lose baby teeth, but if you lose a permanent tooth, or your permanent teeth are cracked or damaged, it’s time to make an emergency dental appointment. The sharp or jagged edges of a fragmented tooth can cut your mouth or tongue. Damaged teeth are also exposed to bacteria, which can create cavities or infections. Emergency dental services such as temporary restorations can help to soften the edges of cracked or damaged teeth so it doesn’t damage other parts of your mouth.

5. Oral Bleeding

You might bite your tongue or your lip and see a bit of blood. This is normal. However, if your gums are bleeding, you have bleeding sores in your mouth, or you’re bleeding a lot, schedule an emergency dental appointment right away.

6. Gum or Tooth Discoloration

Discoloration around a tooth or in the gums can indicate a dead tooth or a tooth infection. Both of these are serious conditions which should be addressed right away. You might notice a blackish, brownish, or yellowish discoloration around your tooth, or a dark red, blackish or brownish discoloration around your gums. Normally, your teeth should be whitish and your gums should be pink. If you notice odd discoloration, it’s time for an emergency dental appointment.

7. Tooth Pain

A mild toothache might have a temporary or benign cause, and it might go away on its own. Temporary teeth grinding, brushing too hard, a mild impact, sinus infection, or other issues can cause a mild toothache. However, if your tooth pain is distracting, makes it difficult to sleep, or it gets worse over time, it may be a cause of something more serious. Schedule an emergency dental appointment and your dentist can diagnose the problem and treat it before it gets worse.

8. Persistent Bad Breath or Taste

We all can get a bad taste in our mouth from foods we don’t like, and certain foods can give us bad breath. However, if you have a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath that won’t go away, it can be an indication of an infection or another health issue. If you’ve experienced this for a number of days, especially if you also notice discoloration or tooth pain, make an emergency dental appointment.

9. Post-Operative Dental Issues

If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction, root canal, filling, or another dental procedure, pay close attention to how you’re feeling. If you notice excessive bleeding, pain that doesn’t go away or worsens, abnormal swelling, or other issues after your procedure, you should make an emergency dental appointment right away. Pay close attention to your dentist’s instructions after the procedure to avoid these issues, and to know what to look out for.



If you’re wondering what is a dental emergency, and you’re not sure if you should come in or not, call a dental office. Explain what you’re experiencing, and the staff can help you decide. Generally, if you’re not sure, it’s better to be cautious. If you don’t have a serious issue, your dentist will let you know. If you do, your dentist can help before it gets worse. You can schedule an appointment for emergency dental treatment in the Las Vegas area online or call our offices directly.



Need to Schedule a Cleaning?

Make an appointment today for quality, affordable dental care at any of our state-of-the-art BDG dentist offices, located throughout Las Vegas, Henderson and Laughlin, Nevada.

Schedule an Appointment