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When do you know a dental problem is a dental emergency? If you’ve experienced one yourself, you might be rethinking calling the dentist. But when it’s outside of a dentist’s working hours, you might need to visit an emergency dentist. Or, if it’s too severe, an emergency room.

But what counts as a dental emergency? As a general rule, you need to ask yourself a few important questions to determine whether you need to visit the dentist or need to be taken to the ER.

Examples of these questions are as follows:

  • Am I in severe pain?
  • Did I lose a tooth?
  • Do I have loose teeth?
  • Do I have an infection?
  • Is my mouth bleeding?

Infections, severe pain, and bleeding from the mouth are all signs of an emergency and should be addressed at once. If you have loose teeth, remember that adults should never have loose teeth. Even if you are not feeling any pain, it is cause for concern.

Here are some specific examples of dental emergencies that you need should look into.

1. Toothaches You Can’t Explain

Mild toothaches don’t need immediate treatment, but if you don’t understand the cause for it, it could be a reason for alarm. Aches and pains are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.

If you experience a sudden and unexplainable toothache, you might want to call a qualified dentist for advice. While waiting to be diagnosed, you can apply a cold compress, rinse with saltwater, and try using pain killers to alleviate the problem temporarily.

2. Exposed Nerves

Without immediate care, any exposed nerves could risk you an infection. The longer it takes, the more you are risking exposure. You can even cause nerve damage, which is much harder and more expensive to treat.

If you think you have exposed nerves, seek dental assistance as soon as possible.

3. Swollen or Bleeding Gums

There are instances where you get sores or swelling in your gums, and they usually don’t cause a dental emergency. However if your gums are bleeding and it is accompanied by some pain and swelling, this should be cause for alarm.

It is not normal for your gums to be bleeding without observable causes. If this happens to you, you should call your dentist immediately to seek treatment.

4. Knocked-Out Tooth

Upon impact with a heavy object, any of your teeth could fall off. Although it can come as quite a shock, you need to get dental assistance immediately. If you are unable to get help from your dentist immediately, there are ways to treat it yourself.

You can start by picking up the tooth by the top while avoiding touching the root. Give it a light rinse. If you can, try to reinsert your tooth back into the socket. If not, you can put it in a container of milk to help preserve it until your dentist can take a look at it.


Dental emergencies are not something to be taken lightly. If you experience any of the above-mentioned problems, be sure to call your dentist immediately to seek some treatment.

For quality dental care, you can only trust Dental House MI. We are a dental house in Ypsilanti that aims to give clients dental services, including preventative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, dental implants, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

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Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Thur 9am - 6pm, Fri & Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
West Bloomfield Dentist Office
Hours : Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Address : 6595 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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