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When to Seek Emergency Dental Care | Denver

When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

Introduction: When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

At Emergency Dental of Denver, we understand that dental emergencies can strike at any moment, leaving you in pain and confusion. Knowing when to seek emergency dental care with us can prevent minor issues from turning into significant problems. This blog post will help you recognize the signs of dental emergencies, understand what steps to take when they occur, and learn how to manage your symptoms until you can see one of our experienced Denver dentists.

Types of Dental Pain


A toothache is one of the most common types of dental pain. It can range from mild discomfort to severe agony. The causes can vary from cavities to gum disease. If you experience a toothache that lasts more than a couple of days, it’s essential to consult a dentist. Persistent toothaches can indicate underlying issues that may require immediate attention.

Sharp Pain

Sharp pain often comes suddenly and can be pretty intense. This type of pain usually indicates a problem, like a cracked tooth or an exposed nerve. Sharp pain can be triggered by chewing or biting down and might worsen with temperature changes. Immediate dental care is crucial to prevent further damage and relieve the pain.

Throbbing Pain

Throbbing pain can be a sign of an infection or abscess. This type of persistent pain can be accompanied by swelling and fever. An abscess is a severe condition that requires prompt treatment to avoid complications such as spreading the infection. If you experience throbbing pain, it’s time to seek emergency dental care.

Gum Pain

Gum pain can result from various conditions, ranging from mild irritation to severe infections. Common causes include gum disease, abscesses, and trauma. If your gum pain is accompanied by redness, swelling, or bleeding, it’s a clear sign that you need to see a dentist immediately.

Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care

Severe Toothache

A severe toothache that over-the-counter painkillers can’t alleviate is a red flag. This kind of pain usually indicates an underlying issue that needs professional attention. Delaying treatment can lead to more severe complications, including infections and tooth loss.


Swelling in the face or gums often signifies an infection or an abscess. If not treated promptly, such conditions can escalate quickly and lead to more serious health issues. Swelling accompanied by fever or difficulty breathing should be treated as a dental emergency.


While minor gum bleeding can occur due to aggressive brushing or flossing, continuous or heavy bleeding is a cause for concern. Persistent bleeding can be a sign of gum disease or other severe conditions that require immediate attention.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth is not just a cosmetic issue; it can also lead to severe pain and further complications. If you break or chip a tooth, especially if it causes sharp or throbbing pain, seek dental care immediately. Quick action can save your tooth and prevent infection.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is one of the most urgent dental emergencies. The quicker you act, the better the chances of saving the tooth. If you can find the tooth and preserve it properly, a dentist may be able to reinsert it. Immediate dental care is crucial in such cases.

Loose or Missing Dental Work

If you have loose or missing dental work, such as crowns, fillings, or braces, it can lead to severe discomfort and further dental issues. Loose or missing dental work needs prompt attention to prevent further complications and ensure your oral health remains intact.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Call Your Emergency Dentist

The first step in any dental emergency is to call Emergency Dental of Denver. We have an emergency contact number to ensure you get the help you need when you need it. Please explain your symptoms clearly so our team can provide immediate advice and prepare for your visit.

Manage Pain

Managing pain is crucial while waiting to see the dentist. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help alleviate pain. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can reduce pain and swelling.

Control Swelling

Cold compresses can control swelling. Apply the cold compress to the outside of your cheek for 15 minutes. If you experience severe swelling, particularly if it affects your breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

Preserve a Knocked-Out Tooth

If you’ve knocked out a tooth, try to find it and handle it by the crown (the part that’s visible in your mouth). If it’s dirty, rinse it gently with water, but don’t scrub it or remove attached tissue fragments. Place it in a container of milk or on the side of your mouth, and get to the dentist as quickly as possible.

Avoid Certain Foods

Certain foods can exacerbate a dental emergency. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that further damage your teeth. Stick to soft foods and liquids until you can see a dentist.

Conclusion: When to Seek Emergency Dental Care

Understanding when to seek emergency dental care at Emergency Dental of Denver can save you from pain and complications. Recognizing the signs and taking quick action can make a significant difference, whether it’s a severe toothache, swelling, or a knocked-out tooth. Always call our office first and follow the steps to manage pain and preserve any knocked-out teeth.

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What qualifies as a dental emergency?

A dental emergency involves severe pain, bleeding, or trauma to the mouth that requires immediate attention. Conditions like abscesses, knocked-out teeth, and severe toothaches are examples of dental emergencies.

How can I prevent dental emergencies?

Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of dental emergencies. Avoiding hard foods and wearing a mouthguard during sports can also help.

Can I go to the emergency room for a dental issue?

While emergency rooms can temporarily relieve dental pain, they are not equipped to handle dental procedures. It’s best to contact your dentist for emergencies related to your teeth and gums.

By staying informed and prepared, you can handle dental emergencies effectively and maintain your oral health. Don’t wait until you’re in severe pain to seek help—know the signs and act quickly.

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