April 23, 2024

You may be stuck in a situation when you experience tooth mobility, excessive bleeding, or severe pain that is not within your scope to manage. Such instances are more common among children due to some sort of trauma.

A dentist in Leduc, Alberta, highlights some of the most common childhood dental emergencies and advises on how to manage them. 

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is a situation that requires immediate attention. Certain injuries to your teeth and surrounding soft tissues can become serious, leading to further damage. It is essential to contact your dentist immediately or go to the emergency room for treatment of a dental emergency.

Not all dental problems are emergencies. But if you have uncontrolled bleeding, persistent pain that does not subside with medications or broken facial bones, you need dental emergency care. 

What is considered a dental emergency?

The following conditions are considered as dental emergencies:

Persistent toothache

  • Common causes
    • Dental decay
    • Tooth fractures 
    • Dental trauma
    • Wisdom teeth eruption 
  • Management 
    • Gargle your mouth with warm salt water
    • Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling

Tooth avulsion (knocked-out tooth)

  • Common causes
    • Trauma 
    • Fall 
  • Management
    • Do not touch the roots, and handle the crown carefully
    • Rinse the tooth to remove debris without scrubbing the tooth
    • Submerge the tooth in milk or saliva until you reach the dental office

Dental intrusion (tooth pushed into the jawbone)

  • Causes:
    • Extreme forces from trauma
  • Management:
    • Rinse the child’s mouth with cold water 
    • Place ice packs to reduce swelling
    • Offer painkillers to relieve pain
    • Seek emergency dental care

Tooth luxation/Extrusion/Lateral displacement (tooth displacement)

  • Causes
    • Fractures and trauma
  • Management
    • Place a cold compress on the affected area
    • Offer pain relief medication
    • Consult your dentist immediately 

Other emergencies include:

  • Crown fracture
  • Root fracture
  • Dental concussion
  • Injured cheek, lip, and tongue
  • Fractured jaw
  • Head trauma

It is essential to not panic and handle these emergencies with a calm and cool mind. Knowing the necessary management tips can help protect the teeth and soft tissues from further damage. 


A dental emergency is any injury to your mouth that causes uncontrolled bleeding, persistent pain, or a broken tooth that may impair your oral form and function. Children are more susceptible to injury due to being hyperactive and always involved in some sort of play. Left untreated, a dental emergency can lead to further damage and complications. Thus, prompt and timely treatment is crucial.