Types of Dental Emergencies

There are lots of different types of dental emergencies. You might experience a sudden toothache, accidentally fall and break or knock out a tooth, or perhaps you broke a bracket on your braces. Discover which types of dental emergencies require immediate attention. We highly encourage our patients to contact us at the first sign of trouble. We want to treat you as soon as possible to reduce the amount of damage.


The most common type of dental emergency is a toothache. Oftentimes, toothaches are actually caused by debris lodged under the gumline. Other reasons a patient might experience a toothache is because they cracked or broke a tooth, they have a dental infection, or lost a filling or crown.

Before you call us for a toothache, first brush and floss your teeth and rinse it well to remove any debris that may be lodged in a tooth. If the toothache persists, take an over the counter pain reliever until you can get in to see us. We will determine the underlying cause of your toothache and treat it to relieve your pain.

Tooth Abscess

Another type of dental emergency is a tooth abscess. Tooth abscesses occur when a tooth develops a pocket of pus due to a bacterial infection. It can occur either at the tip of the tooth root or in the gums on the side of a tooth. It’s usually caused by an untreated cavity, poor oral hygiene, high sugar diet, dry mouth, or injury. Symptoms include fever, throbbing pain in the tooth, temperature sensitivity, pressure sensitivity, or swelling in the face or cheek. If the abscess ruptures, you will likely experience a sudden rush of foul-tasting and smelling salty fluid in your mouth and the sensation of immediate pain relief. If you believe you have a tooth abscess, please contact us immediately.

Broken, Loose, Cracked or Severely Chipped Tooth

If one of your teeth breaks, becomes loose, cracked or severely chipped, these are all good reasons to visit us for emergency dentistry. Not only will you potentially experience pain with this type of damage, but the damage may be more significant than it appears. We will need to take x-rays immediately to evaluate the actual extent of the damage.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If one of your teeth becomes knocked-out, it’s important not to panic. First, try to find the tooth you lost. Carefully pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse it off with warm water. Place the tooth in a cup of milk, saliva or water with a pinch of salt. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it and then apply gauze firmly to stop any bleeding. Please contact us immediately and bring your tooth to our office. There is a one to two-hour window where we’re able to replant the tooth successfully so we recommend acting as soon as possible.

Lost Filling or Dental Crown

If a dental crown or filling falls off or becomes damaged, please contact us immediately. A lost or broken filling or crown can leave your tooth susceptible to debris or bacteria so it’s essential to have this taken care of at your earliest convenience.

Orthodontic Emergencies

If you have a broken bracket, poking wire, lost an Invisalign aligners or damaged your orthodontic treatment in any way, please contact us, especially if you’re experiencing discomfort. We want to fix the problem as soon as possible so your treatment plan isn’t interrupted.

If you think you have a dental emergency that needs addressing, please contact Irresistible Smiles at our Chula Vista dental office at (619) 485-6766 immediately. Dr. Safarian is here to help you through your dental emergency at any time