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Most Common Dental Emergencies (And How to Avoid Them)

Dental emergencies can be stressful and also present a potentially dangerous problem for your oral health. Letting dental issues linger for longer than they should results in permanent damage to your teeth, and the need for more serious and expensive treatment later on. Dental problems like chipped teeth, toothaches, missing teeth, or pain from a crown could be considered severe issues and require immediate attention. 

Not all oral issues constitute an emergency. If you’re experiencing any pain, you should visit Rifkin Dental located in  Yorktown Heights, New York, and Carmel, New York Richard Rifkin, DMD, and his dedicated team of experts are ready to assist you through this stressful experience. 

How to identify a dental emergency

If you’re experiencing a painful tooth, this is good enough reason to seek out a trusted dental specialist. Riding your bike, playing outside, work-related accidents, and biting into something hard are among several causes of dental emergencies. 

Some examples of common dental emergencies include a terrible toothache, an injury to the tooth, a tooth that is infected, or a tooth that has been knocked out. Infections left untreated run the risk of spreading to other parts of the mouth, head, and neck, resulting in more severe health complications. These types of injuries should not be ignored and require immediate attention. 

Making an appointment with Dr. Rewari can help preserve the current state of your tooth. Injuries that seem minor could be affecting the living tissues inside of your mouth, so quick treatment is the only way to avoid further damage. 

What do you do if you experience a dental emergency?

If you are involved in an accident that has resulted in dental injury, you should begin by taking steps to ensure your safety. If you’re bleeding, try to stop the blood by applying light pressure to the area. In severe cases where medical services are needed, you should consider heading to urgent care or the emergency room to be evaluated by a specialist. 


If you’re experiencing a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to dislodge any food caught in between your teeth. Swelling can be treated by applying a cold compress to the outside of your teeth. Most over-the-counter painkillers may aid in reducing your fever or easing painful symptoms. 

Chipped or broken teeth

Rinse your mouth with warm water, and save any pieces you’re able to collect. Rinse the broken pieces and store them in a safe place, so you should bring them with you to see the dentist. Apply gauze to the affected area for about ten minutes or until bleeding stops. A cold compress placed up against the chip or around the lips near the broken tooth can relieve pain and keep swelling down. 


Abscess is a serious condition that begins as an infection. The infection begins around the root of the afflicted tooth or in the spaces between the teeth. The disease damages soft tissue surrounding your teeth and can spread to other areas of your body if left untreated. If you’ve discovered painful swelling in your gum area that is the size of a pimple, you should come in for an appointment as soon as possible. 

You may be able to ease the pain by rinsing your mouth with a salt-water solution, which will help draw out some of the bacteria. Repeat this several times throughout the day until you can visit the dentist. 

Avulsed tooth 

An avulsed tooth requires immediate attention and should be treated promptly. Retrieve the tooth if possible and rinse off any debris with water. If you can, try putting the tooth back in place, hold it by the crown and make sure it’s facing the right way. 

Don’t worry if reinsertion is impossible; in this case, you should put the tooth in a small container with either milk or water combined with a pinch of salt. Teeth returned to their socket by a dentist within an hour of being knocked out have higher rates of being preserved.

Preventing dental emergencies 

Injuries are inevitable, but there are steps that you can take to avoid certain dental issues. Exercising proper hygiene is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and your mouth free from infections that become severe if left untreated. Take the right combination of vitamins can help your mouth and immune system fight against unwanted infection. Vitamin A and B promote healthy gums, while Vitamin C provides a boost of protection for our immune systems. 

Maintaining regular visits and cleanings with a trusted dental specialist is also essential to avoid an emergency. Being mindful of what you’re eating can help protect your teeth against becoming chipped or cracked. 

Another measure that can be taken against damaged, cracked, or loose teeth is wearing protective gear while engaging in high-risk physical activities or contact sports. Mouthguards can help protect your teeth against facial trauma. You may request a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist that is molded to fit your mouth perfectly. 

If you’re suffering from a dental emergency or are concerned about pain you may be experiencing, call our office or book an appointment with Rifkin Dental today.

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