Unsure if your dental pain needs urgent treatment? A guide to basic dental emergencies

dental appointment

If you have ever woken up in the night with dental pain, chances are that the first phone call you made in the morning was to your dental surgery! However, while many people presume that all dental emergencies revolve around discomfort, this is not the case; of course, more people are likely to book an emergency dental appointment if they are experiencing discomfort but there are many conditions besides pain that require immediate attention from a dental professional.

In this article, some of the most common causes for an emergency trip to your dentist will be explored, along with some tips on how to manage them until your appointment arrives. Enjoy!


A common cause for concern is swelling – whether it is in the mouth, on the gum, under the jaw or in the facial area, this symptom needs urgent medical attention. While many people associate facial swelling with dental pain, any swelling to the aforementioned areas needs the urgent attention of your dentist as it may indicate an issue such as an abscess or impacted wisdom tooth. And, while the swelling may be comfortable when it appears, if it is an abscess or impacted tooth, you can guarantee it won’t stay that way!


Dental sensitivity is nothing new but if you notice a sudden change in the sensitivity of one of your teeth or your gums, you need to see a dentist a soon as possible. While it may not seem like a big thing, sudden sensitivity could indicate anything from the start of an abscess, an undetected injury or even that a filling or crown has come loose. So, in order to prevent that sensitivity from worsening, book an emergency dental appointment.

dental pain

Lost filling or crown

It is unlikely that this would be overlooked by most people, but a lost filling or a lost crown needs an emergency appointment. While these issues are not only uncomfortable, they can also lead to more serious secondary issues if left untreated, such as further decay, cracking of the tooth and even bacteria gaining access to the now exposed pulp. As you may have guessed, bacteria plus pulp of tooth equates to a serious abscess, which is more expensive and uncomfortable to treat than a lost crown or filling. So, the moment you notice a filling is loose, call your dental team!


Discomfort is a universal indicator that one of your teeth needs urgent medical attention but, if you notice any pain on your gums, in the roof of your mouth or your inner cheeks, you will need to see a dental professional. As alarmist as it may seem, oral cancer often starts with soreness or pains in these areas, so to be on the safe side, contact your dental team as soon as possible.

Chips or cracks

Chips or cracks are easy to repair but left unchecked, can cause decay, enamel damage and even root exposure. Don’t risk it and book an appointment!

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