When Should I See An Emergency Dentist? 

When Should I See An Emergency Dentist? 

While going to the dentist for a routine check-up or teeth cleaning is a normal part of everyday life, knowing when to go see an emergency dentist can be a whole different story. 

How do we differentiate between just a simple toothache, and perhaps something a lot more dangerous that needs immediate medical attention? You most certainly aren’t alone when you ask the question, ‘When Should I See An Emergency Dentist?” 


When you should see an emergency dentist depends on the severity of the situation. In most emergency cases, a patient has been involved with some kind of sports accident, car crash, fistfight, or a severe fall. If teeth have been broken or knocked out, you want to seek out medical attention quickly. If however the tooth is slightly chipped or only has a small fracture, it can most likely wait until normal operating hours of your local dentist office.

9 Reasons You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist


Knowing when to see an emergency dentist really does matter, so it’s important that you know some of the specific symptoms to look out for so you are ready for the worst-case scenario. To help you see the difference, here are 9 reasons why you might need to see an emergency dentist: 

1. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If Your Gums Are Bleeding

Some slight bleeding immediately following some flossing might mean that you are showing signs of gingivitis, but that on its own isn’t dangerous. If however, the bleeding doesn’t stop or happens often, you need to be on high alert. These are very common signs that reveal gum disease.

If you have regular, healthy habits of brushing your teeth or flossing at home, you should pat yourself on the back, because these are great ways to help prevent this type of disease. 

If for some reason you do have gum disease, your emergency dentist must catch the signs very early so that there can be as little damage as possible. 

If gum disease symptoms are ignored or prolonged, the damage can be unfixable, so you must take these signs seriously and see an emergency dentist if needed. 

2. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If You Have Constant Headaches 

You can get a headache for a lot of different reasons, but if they aren’t going away, it could mean that other things are happening behind the scenes that you should look into. 

Your head and your teeth are connected, so there may be some pain in your jaw or teeth that can be causing the headaches to be bad continuously. 

If the pain in your head doesn’t go away, you could be grinding your teeth or have bruxism. If you know you have had previous problems with grinding your teeth, it is a good idea to notify your emergency dentist so that they can look for any other damaging factors like sensitivity or tooth enamel that has been worn down. 

If looked at quickly enough, you may only need to invest in a guard for your teeth to wear at night. Don’t take this risk, and contact your local dentist if you have concerns. 

3. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If You Taste Metal 

Tasting metal is not a normal thing, so if you start to notice metallic flavors, it can be a sign that a filling that you’ve had installed in the past can be loosened or even damaged. 

If you are experiencing these kinds of symptoms, you should most certainly seek out an emergency dentist, otherwise, you could be vulnerable to further damages. 

These kinds of symptoms left untreated could result in toothaches, cavities or even root canals if it gets out of control. 

An emergency dentist needs to give you a brand new filling, and get rid of bacteria or infection that is hanging around. 

4. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If You Have Loose Teeth

As an adult, wiggly or loose teeth should not be a normal thing. Because you have matured, your teeth should be fully grown and durable enough to help you with every day tasks such as speaking and eating. 

If for some reason you have started to notice that one or multiple teeth have started wiggling or seem looser than normal, it could be a sign that you need to look into getting professional dental help. 

Being in an accident, or a bad fall can cause your teeth to become loosened, and this can be extremely painful for the patient. If this is what’s happening to you, you would be wise to go seek out an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Keeping your teeth secure and in place is extremely important, so this is worth the extra hassle. 

In some cases, your teeth may be completely intact, but you should still go to an emergency dentist to ensure that you don’t have any jaw or nerve damage that can make things worse. 

Another thing that can cause teeth to loosen are infections that are localized. To fully grasp the scope of the infection and how it is effecting your tooth, you will need to go to an emergency dentist as soon as possible. 

Your dentist should be able to provide you with x-rays and oral exams to help you figure out what the exact cause of the infection is. 

5. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If Your Jaw Is Swollen 

Are you noticing that your jaws are swollen? This could mean that you are dealing with an infection like salivary gland infection. In addition to swollenness, you might have a bad taste in your mouth, as well as trouble breathing and even a fever. 

If you are noticing a few or all of these symptoms, you should look for immediate assistance from an emergency dentist

Infections like this typically occur because salivary glands have become blocked, so your spit isn’t able to do the job that it’s supposed to do, which assists you in breaking down all of the food you eat while washing away any unwanted bacteria. 

This is not the most common infection, but you’ll still want to stay on the lookout for any of these potential symptoms to avoid unnecessary added damage. 

6. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If You Are Overly Exhausted 

Similarly to headaches, being exhausted can be caused by any number of things that daily life brings our way. However, it’s good to be aware that constant exhaustion can be caused by oral infections. 

If you have tried looking for a solution to your tiredness for a long time, or you are additionally feeling some pain in your mouth from the infection, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a dental professional, even to rule out this symptom at the very least. 

You can never be too careful when it comes to oral hygiene, so check with your dentist if you are feeling overly exhausted! 

7. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If You Have A Dental Abscess

An abscessed tooth is most certainly a reason to seek out an emergency dentist. This is an infection at the root of your tooth that is extremely painful. 

The cause for this kind of infection is usually caused by gum disease, an untreated cavity, or even trauma to that tooth. 

If you are experiencing swollen glands, bad taste in your mouth, pus or a fever, you are dealing with the symptoms of an abscessed tooth, and you need immediate dental care. 

In the end, you will most likely need surgery to correct the damage and ensure that the infection is controlled properly. 

8. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If You Have A Severe Toothache 

A toothache can be caused by a lot of things, but if it is severe you will want to see your dentist as soon as you can. Minor toothaches can be treated at home with little repercussions, but you need to be prepared if the pain worsens. 

The best course of action is always preventative, so be sure and start healthy habits now to avoid toothaches all together. 

9. You Might Need To See An Emergency Dentist If Your Canker Sores Aren’t Healing

Canker sores are a normal thing to deal with, and most people can have plenty of them in their lifespan. When it’s dangerous though, is when these sores refuse to heal and are lingering for long periods. 

Open wounds in your mouth can start to fester and eventually get infected. This is extremely dangerous if left untreated, so you need to take note of how long they have been sticking around. 

If you have canker sores in your mouth for longer than two weeks, you need to seek out dental care and explain what is going on. They will be able to give you the treatment you need to start the healing process or even treat infections if needed. 



Remember to stay on high alert for any of these symptoms so you know exactly when to go see an emergency dentist. If you have any further questions about emergency dental care, talk to your local family dentist today! 




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