What’s a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any dental problem that requires urgent treatment. Some of the most common dental emergencies we see at our office in Baulkham Hills are:

  • Toothache
  • Infected tooth
  • Chipped or cracked tooth
  • Knocked-out or loose tooth
  • Lost restorations
  • Food or objects stuck in teeth

We are able to help with these types of problems and more. If you have a dental emergency, please call (02) 9686 7375 immediately to schedule a rapid appointment at My Hills Dentist.


attractive young woman in blue shirt shows off healthy smile

Toothaches mean that something is wrong with your tooth, and if it is left untreated, it can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications (see infected tooth below).
Some toothaches can be handled at home, but you should seek emergency dental care if your toothache:

  • Interferes with daily activities, including sleep
  • Doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medication
  • Is accompanied by fever or other symptoms of an infected tooth
  • Relates to a loose tooth
  • Is related to a cracked or chipped tooth

Some toothaches are relatively minor and can be dealt with in the next week or so. Those that need emergency care are the ones so severe that they interfere with daily activities. This includes a toothache that keeps you from sleeping, especially one that wakes you up. If you take over-the-counter medication for your toothache but don’t get relief, you should seek emergency care.

You also need emergency care for toothaches that might be related to another emergency dental situation, such as an infected tooth, loose tooth, chipped or cracked tooth.

For emergency dental care for your toothache, please call (02) 9686 7375 to schedule an appointment at My Hills Dentist.

Infected Tooth

An infected tooth is one of the most serious dental emergencies. Left untreated, an infected tooth, also called an abscessed tooth or tooth abscess, can lead to deadly consequences in the form of a blood, brain, or other systemic infection. In addition to toothache, symptoms of an infected tooth include:

  • Fever or warmth around the painful tooth
  • Discolouration of the painful tooth
  • Foul breath or a foul taste in the mouth
  • Discharge from or near the painful tooth

If you have more than one of these dental symptoms, it’s time to get emergency care. Please call (02) 9686 7375 to schedule an emergency appointment at My Hills Dentist.

Chipped or Cracked Tooth

Our teeth are very strong, but they are also brittle, especially when struck from the side. Chipped or cracked teeth can be a minor cosmetic problem that can be repaired with dental bonding or a dental veneer. For some people this is an emergency and deserves immediate attention.

However, you should always consider a chipped or cracked tooth as a potential emergency if:

  • The revealed surface is two different colors and/or bleeds
  • The crack or break reaches the gum line
  • Your tooth is suddenly very sensitive to temperature or pressure

If you have any of the above symptoms or are hoping for emergency cosmetic treatment of your chipped or cracked tooth, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an emergency appointment at My Hills Dentist.

couple relaxing at home on the couch togetherTooth Knocked Out or Knocked Loose

Sometimes, a hard blow to your teeth will knock it out or knock it loose rather than chipping it.

With proper care, it is sometimes possible to re-implant a knocked-out tooth. If your tooth gets knocked out, pick it up by the crown (the visible part when it’s in your mouth, not the root). Rinse the tooth gently with warm water to remove dirt, but don’t touch the root with your hands.

If the root is clean and it fits easily back into the socket, you can put it there until you can get emergency dental care. Otherwise, put the tooth between your cheek and gums or in a container of warm milk or water.

A tooth that has been knocked loose should also be considered a dental emergency. Talk to a dentist about how soon your tooth might need attention.

If you are bleeding around the injured tooth, apply gauze or a wet tea bag to the gums, but never put anything other than the tooth into the tooth socket.

If you have a tooth that’s been knocked out or loose, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an emergency appointment at My Hills Dentist.

Lost Restorations

Dental restorations can last a long time, but they are not usually permanent. They can come loose or be broken or dislodged by trauma or wear.

If you have a filling or crown that’s come out, try to remove it from your mouth–don’t swallow it. If it’s a ceramic filling or crown, we might be able to re-bond it to your tooth if it’s undamaged. Keep these types of restorations.

With a dental crown, you can even put it back on your tooth if it looks undamaged. If you can fit the crown easily back over the tooth where it belongs, place it there. Then contact us. If you can’t get an appointment immediately, temporary dental cement can hold the crown in place until your appointment, where we will evaluate the crown and the tooth under it to determine if this crown is still serviceable or if you need additional treatment. Please call (02) 9686 7375 for an emergency appointment at My Hills Dentist if you’ve lost a restoration.

couple goofing around while laughing outdoors Food or Objects Stuck in Teeth

Having something stuck between your teeth or between your teeth and gums can be very painful, and worrying. If it’s not handled properly, food or objects stuck in your teeth can cause serious injury.

Start by trying to remove the food or objects safely at home. Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Brush your teeth. Try to remove the object with dental floss or a plastic or wooden toothpick. If you are causing your teeth or gums to bleed, stop. Never dig in your teeth or gums with anything metal.

If you can’t remove food or objects safely from your teeth, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an emergency appointment at My Hills Dentist.

Other Dental Emergencies

If you have another situation that is causing you concern and you think it might be an emergency, it’s sometimes better to talk to a dentist and decide if it needs care immediately or can wait. To learn whether your situation requires urgent dental care, please call (02) 9686 7375 to talk to My Hills Dentist, serving Sydney from Baulkham Hills.