4 Tooth Problems That Are Dental Emergencies

dental emergencies bethesda family dentistry

Dental emergencies are always inconvenient, often painful, and occasionally bloody. These experiences are frustrating and can be scary but when you know that your dentist is prepared to handle all types of dental emergencies, all you need to do is call. Whatever you do, don’t ignore any aches, pains, swelling, or broken teeth. When you have an oral health problem, especially those listed below, contact your Bethesda dentist immediately.

Dental Abscess

A serious bacterial infection, a dental abscess is visible, painful, and a serious problem for your oral health as well as the rest of your body. The problem presents as a pus-filled area around an infected tooth, a throbbing toothache, swollen and tender gums, redness, and even fever or chills.

Though an abscess may seem like a problem you can address on your own, never attempt to pop an abscess at home. The growth is filled with bacteria that will infect your system quickly. Always call your dentist immediately.

Broken Tooth

A broken tooth is always a big problem. When it comes to dental emergencies, this is right up there with the most painful stuff. Even if you aren’t experiencing any pain, broken tooth enamel (the toughest substance in the human body) is a concern by itself and a gateway to additional dental problems.

Whether it’s a damaged filling, broken crown, cracked veneer, or chip off any tooth in your mouth, this damage is an invitation for food particles, plaque, and bacteria to enter. A compromised tooth can turn into oral health problems beyond the break itself, compromising both your teeth and gums as well as your overall well-being.


If you develop a toothache, the discomfort may ebb and flow, come and go. This kind of fluctuation can make you feel like maybe you can “muscle through” the worst of it and tolerate the problem. Here’s the reality though: There is no muscling through a toothache. Once it exists, it’s not going anywhere until your dentist fixes it.

Your dentist is the only person who can diagnose whether you have a cavity, tooth infection, gum disease, or even an impacted wisdom tooth. The symptoms you’re experiencing and the level of debilitation you are dealing with are major indicators of serious toothache, but people who have a high threshold for pain still need to get help right away too before the issue gets worse.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth may not always be noticeable to the untrained eye, but it will certainly make itself known when tooth decay develops. Anytime you crack a tooth, see your dentist right away. That chipped veneer or cracked molar could lead to a severe dental emergency that requires major interventions to stop the pain, save the tooth, and correct the damage. It’s much easier to correct a cracked tooth at the start than allow more significant problems to develop over time.

No matter what, if you have pain in your teeth or gums, if you’re experiencing any of the problems or symptoms described above, contact Bethesda Family Dentistry immediately. We handle dental emergencies regularly and it is our goal to help you protect your teeth and overall oral health every day.

Dr. Deborah TabbPatients at Bethesda Family Dentistry benefit from the knowledge and experience that only comes from a diverse team. From general dentistry to endodontic, periodontics, and cosmetic dental services, this Bethesda, MD clinic is ready to be the only source you need for all your oral health needs.