We’ve all been there.

The sudden toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night. The crunchy snack that chips a tooth or dislodges a filling. The sudden mishap that knocks out a tooth. Okay, maybe we haven’t all experienced accidentally losing a tooth, but we all know it can happen easily and without warning.

Any of these can mean pain, discomfort and difficulty with normal activities like eating, drinking, sleeping, even breathing.

But, what else do dental emergencies have in common?

Anxiety – worry – concern  – It’s natural. Many people don’t know what to do when faced with a dental emergency.

  • Can a lost tooth be saved?
  • Is it okay to take painkillers?
  • Should you rush to the hospital?
  • Is there anything you can or should do while waiting for treatment?

So many questions – but in an emergency, you should know where to look for the answers.

Dental emergencies can have many causes, including accidents, sports-related injuries, tooth decay and infection. You may have a dental emergency if you have any of the following:

  • a traumatic injury to your mouth, jaw or teeth
  • severe pain that you cannot control with over-the-counter pain medication
  • uncontrolled bleeding
  • severe swelling in your mouth, face or neck

NOTE: If you have trouble breathing or your mouth continuously fills with blood, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Also seek an immediate medical assessment if you suffer a head trauma.