Most Common Dental Emergencies and Treatment Options

What to Do in Case of a Dental Emergency in Palos Park, IL

Healthy teeth play an essential role in the overall health of the human body, and when they suffer damages, it is a race against the clock to come up with a solution for potential emergencies. While prevention of dental emergencies via good dental care is the best way to preserve oral earth, a dental emergency can happen at any moment without warning, and if you are not sure what to do, and can lead to long-term damage. 

What are some of the most common dental emergencies? Do you know how to handle them? With a fast, immediate response, you will be able to salvage your teeth and ensure that your smile stays happy and healthy. Keep reading to learn more about the most common dental emergencies and what to do should you encounter one! 

Common Dental Emergencies


Pain in the teeth is never a good sign; it is one of the leading indicators of several conditions, one of those being tooth decay. While some toothaches are manageable and may not be considered for emergency treatment, specific symptoms like swelling, blood, and inflammation require urgent attention. We understand that when suffering from pain, it may be easy to radiate towards pain killers or aspirin, but avoid them at all costs. If they come into contact with the gums, it is possible that they can burn the tissue. Instead, take a cold compress, put it on the outside of your cheek, and immediately call Sheehan Dental for Emergency Care. 

Your treatment will depend on what is causing the pain in the tooth. Some of the most common causes of toothache include: 

  • Cavities. If a cavity is causing the toothache, your dentist will fill the cavity or take the tooth out, if necessary.
  • The need for a root canal. This is a procedure to remove and replace the infected pulp with sealing material. It may be needed if the cause of the toothache is an infection of the tooth’s nerve.

Depending on your treatment, your dentist will recommend the next steps to take following your visit. We can not stress enough how important basic oral hygiene is to prevent cavities, tooth decay, and infections that can lead to oral pain. 

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Were you recently eating, bit down on something hard, and heard a crack? Or were you playing your favorite sport and took a nasty fall to the ground? You may have a chipped or broken tooth, and if you don’t see a dentist right away, the chip or break could be permanent. First, apply a cold compress to the area close to your chipped or broken tooth to ensure minimum swelling. Depending on the severity of your chip or break, your dentist may fill the tooth or complete a procedure called bonding.

Knocked-out Tooth

Similar to how you would handle a chipped or broken tooth but only with one extra step. If you knock out your tooth, you will need to pick it up and bring it with you to the dentist. You may want to wash the tooth off, especially if it fell on the ground, but only do so if there is dirt on it. Carefully rinse it off with water and do not scrub it. Depending on the injury, there is a possibility that you can carefully put the tooth back into place as you go to the dentist, but be careful to push it deep within the pocket. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, put it in a small cup (with milk is best). This will help preserve the tooth so that your Sheehan Dentist in Palos Park, IL has time to safely put the tooth back.

Lost Filling or Crown

The main job of crowns and fillings is to restore previously damaged teeth back to optimal function and appearance. If they break or fall out, your tooth is at risk of further damage and or reinfection. Generally, the best course of action is to immediately seek a dentist’s help and not touch or try to fix the affected tooth. Once you arrive at the dentist, the dental team will carefully clean the area and ensure there is not an infection. After, they will fit your tooth for a new filling or crown. 

Broken Braces 

If there is one thing that many patients of all ages hate when it comes to their oral health is the need for braces. Though these metal brackets are designed to withstand everyday wear and tear with chewing, talking, and eating, they can experience complications. They can break or stick out, becoming extremely uncomfortable and dangerous, jabbing your cheeks and gums. Not only can this be extremely painful, but it can also actually reverse the progress in aligning and straightening the teeth if not attended to right away. To ease the discomfort before you arrive at the dentist, you can try pushing the wire into a more comfortable position or covering the end with a small cotton ball or a piece of gauze. No matter how annoying it is, do not attempt to cut the wires. 


An abscess is a painful collection of pus that is usually caused by a bacterial infection. When left untreated, abscesses will spread to surrounding teeth and gum tissue. If you are unsure whether or not you have an abscess, you can check your gums for a pimple-like swollen spot that is painful to the touch. An abscess can directly affect the overall health of your entire body and needs to be treated right away. Immediately contact Sheehan Dental, and we will drain and clean the abscess. 

The Basics of Preventing a Dental Emergency in Palos Park, IL

  1. Always use a mouthguard! Do you like to show your love for the game but want to avoid putting your beautiful smile at risk? Then to remember to always wear a mouthguard. It will help you reduce your chances of chipping, breaking, or knocking out a tooth. Whether it is on the ice, court, or field, always make sure to wear a mouthguard and protect yourself from dental emergencies. 
  2. Watch how and what you eat at all costs. Yes, the human teeth are generally strong, but you would be surprised by just how easy they can crack or chip. Tough meat, hard candy, and unexpected surprises in food are just some of the reasons why strong, healthy teeth can break or chip. Avoid tough and sugary foods to ensure that you do not run the risk of having a negative impact on your teeth. 
  3. Avoid excessively chewing. Are you someone who finds themselves constantly biting their nails or chewing on items that are not food? Don’t worry; many people do it, but you need to try and stop it immediately. Eventually, your teeth will become worn down, leading to easy breaks, exposed gums, lack of saliva production, and so on. 

Be Prepared for When you Have a Dental Emergency in Palos Park, IL

The worst thing to happen is being faced with a dental emergency and not knowing what to do or where to go. Luckily, the experts at Sheehan Dental are always here to assist you. When you encounter a dental emergency in Palos Park, IL, contact us immediately, and we will do whatever possible to save and restore your beautiful smile.