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Top 3 Common Dental Emergencies and How to Prevent Them


Dental emergencies can be a literal pain to deal with. While it is definitely best to head to an emergency dentist when a dental emergency strikes, there is very real pain that you may want to address immediately until you can get to the clinic. 

Here are three of the most common dental emergencies and what you can do in each situation.


Experiencing a toothache can be pretty common, and a lot of people simply let it pass. While some toothaches do go away on their own, toothaches that come with other signs such as swelling might need emergency treatment.

We know it’s tempting to relieve the pain with painkillers, but avoid doing so as it might affect your gums. Instead, you can apply a cold compress to your cheek while you wait for emergency care.

Broken Fillings or Crown

If your teeth have experienced prior damage, your dentist might have used fillings or a crown to restore your teeth to optimal functionality. However, when these fillings or the crown break, it might lead to further damage or infection in your teeth.

When this happens, seek emergency dental care. Do not attempt to fix the tooth, as this might lead to additional damage. If you’re experiencing sensitivity, you may stick some sugarless gum into the cavity while you wait for emergency dental care. 

If your dental crown falls off, keep it safe and bring it with you to the emergency dentist. This way, you won’t need to wait for another crown as your dentist may be able to reapply it.

Chipped Teeth

Biting into something a little too hard or getting into some kind of accident could lead to your tooth chipping off. When this happens, rinse your mouth using warm water. If there’s bleeding, apply some gauze to the wound. To reduce swelling and pain, you can apply a cold compress to your cheek. And, of course, head on to your dentist to get your chipped tooth fixed.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

There are some ways you can prevent these dental emergencies from happening. Here are a few things you can practice to keep your teeth in their best condition.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

This is, of course, the best preventative measure. Practicing good oral hygiene keeps your teeth nice and strong. And good oral hygiene isn’t just about brushing your teeth and flossing. It also includes being mindful of what you eat. Avoiding sugary foods and hard candy will definitely help prevent tooth decay. Chewing tough meat could also lead to broken teeth, so you should also watch out for that.

Avoid Chewing on Non-Food Items

Oral fixations, such as biting fingernails and chewing on writing utensils, can result in chipped teeth. We know that breaking bad habits is easier said than done, but there are ways to redirect these habits slowly. You can try to keep your hands busy with some other distraction to help you avoid nail-biting. Or perhaps, you can chew on sugarless gum instead when you’re really feeling the urge to chew something.

Wear a Mouthguard

Sports-related injuries can lead to broken teeth. That’s why it’s essential to wear a mouthguard whenever you’re engaging in contact sports. Make it a habit to wear your mouthguard before each game to keep that smile of yours intact.


Practicing good oral hygiene and other preventative measures is always better than any home remedy. When a dental emergency cannot be avoided, however, make sure the first thing you do is get emergency dental care services from a trusted dentist.

For your dental emergencies, you can trust Dr. Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry to fix your teeth. We are an emergency dentist in Raleigh, NC that provides dental crowns, root canals, tooth fillings, and other dental services. Make an appointment today!