Common Dental Emergencies and How to Avoid Them

Dental emergencies can be both painful and frightening, often requiring immediate attention from a dentist. While accidents can happen, many dental emergencies can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and preventive care.

Understanding common dental emergencies and how to avoid them can help save you from unnecessary discomfort and stress. Here are a few of the most common dental emergencies we see and how you can avoid them and protect your smile!


A toothache is a common dental emergency that can be caused by various factors such as tooth decay, infection, or injury to the tooth. A toothache may come on gradually and become more painful over time, but some people experience sudden and severe tooth pain that needs immediate attention.

To avoid toothaches, maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. Visit your dentist in Asheville for routine check-ups to catch any dental issues early on and lower your chances of having a surprise toothache.

It’s also a good idea to avoid excessive consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay and sensitivity that can cause toothaches. Regardless of whether your toothache is mild or severe, this is one dental symptom you should never ignore!

Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth

A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth can occur due to trauma or biting down on hard objects. People are more likely to chip or break their teeth if:

To prevent chipped or broken teeth, refrain from using your teeth as tools to open packages or crack nuts. It’s also important to wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports to protect your teeth from injury. And if you grind your teeth at night, consider using a night guard to minimize the risk of chipping or cracking a tooth.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a severe dental emergency that requires immediate attention. To avoid a knocked-out tooth or teeth, be cautious during physical activities and wear protective gear when playing contact sports.

If a tooth is knocked out, handle it by the crown (top) and not the root, and place it in a container of milk, water, or saline solution to keep it moist. Take the tooth and any pieces of it to your dentist in Asheville as soon as possible.

The sooner you get to a dentist, the greater the chances of re-implanting or saving your natural tooth!

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess, also called a dental abscess, is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and tooth. A tooth abscess can happen from tooth decay, gum disease, or a broken or cracked tooth that has not been treated. Tooth abscesses may not cause symptoms, but most patients will experience pain or discomfort.

To prevent tooth abscesses, practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. Address any signs of tooth decay or gum disease promptly to prevent them from developing into an abscess and requiring you to seek emergency care.

Lost Filling or Crown

A lost filling or crown can cause discomfort and sensitivity in the affected tooth. In some cases, a damaged filling or crown can be a dental emergency, especially if it causes severe tooth sensitivity, bleeding, or swelling around the tooth.

To avoid damaging your crowns or fillings, practice good oral hygiene to prevent decay and damage to existing dental restorations. Keep your bi-annual dental check-ups to monitor the status of your fillings and crowns and get repairs if necessary. Remember, although these restorations can last for many years, eventually, they will need to be replaced.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the soft tissues inside the mouth can occur due to accidental biting, trauma, or sports-related injuries. These injuries may or may not be dental emergencies, but if you have excessive swelling, bleeding, or injury to the teeth with a soft tissue injury, it’s best to seek the advice of your dentist as soon as possible.

To prevent soft tissue injuries, be cautious when eating hard or tough foods—think tortilla chips, some crackers and breads, or foods with bones in them—and avoid biting on objects or your fingernails. Wearing a mouthguard during physical activities can also reduce your risk of injury to the soft tissues in the mouth.

Broken Braces or Wires

If you have metal braces, broken wires or brackets can lead to discomfort and irritation in the mouth. In some cases, a broken wire or bracket poses a risk of injury to the gums or teeth and should be fixed by a dentist as soon as possible.

To avoid this dental emergency, follow the guidelines provided by your orthodontist for caring for your braces. Avoid hard, sticky foods that can damage the braces or cause wires to break, and always wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and orthodontia during sports.

Be Prepared in Case of a Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can be distressing, but many of them can be prevented with proper oral hygiene, preventive care, and mindful practices.

It’s essential to be prepared and know how to respond if a dental emergency does occur. Consider keeping an emergency kit that includes gauze, a container for broken teeth, and the contact information for your dentist in your car, office, or purse.

Taking proactive measures to care for your oral health can help you avoid unnecessary discomfort and maintain a healthy, vibrant smile—but it always pays to be prepared!

Experiencing a Dental Emergency in Asheville? Saunders DDS Is Here for You

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency in Asheville, don’t hesitate to reach out to Saunders DDS. We can see emergencies with same-day appointments to help you care for your smile, alleviate your pain, and restore your teeth and gums. Contact us today at (828) 277-6060 if you need emergency dental care!

Uncover secrets to prevent dental emergencies and find your emergency dentist in Asheville for instant relief. Take charge of your smile with Saunders DDS today!