March 22, 2024

Dealing with Dental Emergencies: When to Call Pearl Street Dental

Dental problems are common, however, not all of them are considered to be an emergency. True dental emergencies need to be assessed and treated quickly to avoid the risk of further or permanent damage. If you ever experience an injury to the face, mouth, or jaw, the following is simple guidance from your trustworthy dentist in Boulder Colorado, so you the best course of action to take. 

Dental Concern vs. Emergency 

It’s important to know whether you are experiencing a dental concern or a true emergency that needs immediate help.


A dental concern may include certain types of pain in your mouth or teeth. For these situations, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible, but it is also okay for there to be a small delay as you await the next available appointment. We understand the discomfort and agitation caused by these concerns, and a dentist is the right individual to help you. Examples of dental concerns include: 

  • Dull or mild toothache
  • Gum irritation
  • Object stuck between your teeth
  • Broken braces
  • A small chip
  • Small cuts or sores


Emergencies tend to be conditions that cannot be left untreated, usually due to a significant amount of pain. Dental emergencies are not generally life-threatening, but they do require quicker attention than regular dental concerns. Some dental emergencies won’t cause as much pain, but they still require an emergency visit to prevent long-term damage. 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of dental emergencies and what you should do while you schedule an emergency dentist appointment:

  • Severely cracked or broken tooth: See a dentist as soon as possible; save and rinse any broken pieces of the tooth that you can find; apply gauze to stop any bleeding; apply ice or a cold pack to the outside of your cheek/mouth to relieve pain and keep swelling down. 
  • Knocked-out tooth: See a dentist as soon as possible; retrieve your tooth, holding it by the top (normally visible end); rinse the tooth in water and place the tooth into a glass of milk to keep it alive until you see your dentist. 
  • Bad toothache/ mouth pain: See a dentist as soon as possible; try flossing to remove anything stuck in teeth or gums; wash with warm water; apply ice or cold pack to the cheek or outside of mouth; take over-the-counter pain killer with the recommended dose. 
  • Dental abscess: See a dentist as soon as possible andn rinse your mouth with a water and salt solution. Dental abscesses are swollen, infected, pimple-like areas that can be located near the root of your tooth and around the gums. 
  • Lost filling or crown: See a dentist as soon as possible. Do not attempt to repair any broken restoration pieces; stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity until you can receive help. 
  • Mild to moderate soft tissue injuries: See a dentist as soon as possible. Use gauze to control bleeding, and apply ice or a cold pack to the outside of your mouth to reduce swelling and pain. 

Don’t Wait to Contact a Dentist

If you have a dental emergency, don’t panic - call Pearl Street Dental immediately to get an emergency dental procedure scheduled as soon as possible. Many of the above issues are fairly common, and modern technology has enabled dentists to be able to restore teeth without any noticeable damage. With a knocked-out or displaced tooth, for example, dentists can reinsert it into its cavity and help the roots reintroduce into the gums. 

The first thing dentists will always do is attempt to save the injured teeth. They can diagnose any injuries with specialized equipment like X-rays, and provide the best recovery and treatment plan possible. 

When Should You Go To the Emergency Room? 

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, the first thing you should always do is contact your dentist. Most dental emergencies can be efficiently and effectively treated by a dentist better than what could be done in an emergency room. However, some injuries are considered to be medical emergencies more broadly, and you should seek immediate medical attention from the emergency room. 

Two potentially life-threatening dental emergencies that should be treated at the emergency room include: 

Severe Bleeding

If you have uncontrollable, severe bleeding in or around your mouth or face, it's critical to visit an emergency room as soon as possible. Don’t confuse this with bleeding associated with a knocked-out tooth, however, as this type of bleeding can be controlled and is not usually excessive. If you’re not sure or are in any way worried, lean on the side of caution and visit an emergency room. 

Swelling Caused by Spreading Dental Infection

Dental emergencies from infection, such as dental abscesses, are a cause for concern, particularly if the infection has caused severe swelling and is spreading to other parts of your mouth or interfering with your breathing in any way. Seek medical attention from an emergency room immediately. 

Looking For a Dentist in Boulder, Colorado?

We understand the frustration and pain associated with dental injuries, but we’re here to help! If you have a dental emergency and need a dentist in Boulder, Colorado, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Pearl Street Dental right away. Dental emergencies that are left unaddressed can lead to more serious complications down the road, so reach out to our Boulder office and we’ll make every effort to get you in as quickly as possible.