Toothache Relief: Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them


Toothache Relief: National Toothache Day

Although dental concerns can vary, not every dental issue is a dental emergency. For example, a mild toothache is probably not an immediate emergency, but a toothache consisting of severe pain, or any swelling or bleeding is definitely a dental emergency and you should come see us right away. National Toothache Day is approaching us on February 9, 2022, and it’s a great reminder to schedule a dental appointment to help avoid toothaches in the future or seek toothache relief if you are experiencing pain.

Related Article: Emergency Appointment: When You have a Toothache

What’s a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is when an accident or emergency affects your mouth, teeth, and/or gum areas. Dental emergencies are serious, and the best option is to see your dentist quickly to resolve the issue. If you’re unsure if you’re dealing with a dental emergency, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you lost a tooth?
  • Are you experiencing major swelling in the face or mouth?
  • Do you have a loose tooth/teeth?
  • Do you have an infection?
  • Are you in severe pain?
  • Are you bleeding from the mouth?

Learn more through this Helpful Dental Emergency FAQ from Mouth Healthy

Common Dental Emergencies and What to do

A Knocked-Out Tooth. If your tooth is knocked-out, there’s no question about it – you’re definitely dealing with a dental emergency. If it’s completely knocked-out, grab the tooth by the crown (not the root) and call your dentist immediately. You can keep the tooth moist in a glass of milk until you see your dentist. The best chance of saving the tooth would be seeing your dentist within 30 minutes to one hour after the accident.

Exposed Nerves. Exposed nerves can be very painful, so see your dentist ASAP to avoid prolonging any intense pain.

An Abscess. These often look similar to a pimple on your gums and are usually very painful. This means that your gum tissue or tooth is infected, and you need to see your dentist right away. Your dentist will often treat with antibiotics. Do not try and pop the pimple, but you can rinse with warm salt water.

Missing Filling or Broken Crown. Having a filling that is missing can make the changes of a chipped or cracked tooth much greater because the tooth isn’t being properly supported. If a dental crown falls off or completely breaks, it leaves your tooth very vulnerable. Schedule with us quickly to possibly avoid a root canal or extraction.

Toothaches. Until you can see your dentist, try rinsing your mouth with warm water and floss gently around the area of discomfort. This may loosen any food that is lodged. Over-the-counter pain medication or a cold compress can also help with pain. If you’re unsure if your toothache is an emergency, give us a call and we can help you get toothache relief!

Bleeding or Swollen Gums. Some minor bleeding or irritation here and there is usually just fine and not concerning. However, if your gums won’t stop bleeding and is accompanied with swelling, it can often mean there’s an underlying health or dental issue that needs to be addressed.

Handling Emergencies: When You Need a Same Day Emergency Appointment

How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Tooth decay causes most toothaches, so following a good oral hygiene routine can prevent most toothaches.

Practices of good oral hygiene consist of:

  • brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • floss daily
  • rinse once or twice each day with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • see your dentist twice a year for professional exam and cleaning

Gently brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste will remove the bacteria and plaque that are toothache causes to begin with. In addition to these practices, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and sealant applications and make healthy snack, food, and beverage choices that are low in sugar.

We Provide Same Day Emergency Services

Dental emergencies are more than just your everyday dental issues. If you’re dealing with pain or injury, it’s important to be seen right away. Our philosophy on dental emergencies is very simple “If you need toothache relief or another type of dental emergency, you are first in line… PERIOD.” Our Kansas City and Independence, MO offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 AM-5 PM, and our talented Doctors will be there to provide urgent dental care. We are willing to come in early, stay late, and even work through lunch to get you in, treated and comfortable again.

Contact us today to schedule your dental appointment and meet with our skilled dentists at one of our three conveniently located dental office locations within the Kansas City area, including Lee’s Summit / Independence, the Country Club Plaza and Downtown Kansas City. The gentle dentists and expert team at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates look forward to working with you to treat your dental emergency, achieve proper oral health and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are happy to review your policy! Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment and become part of our dental family.