Signs You Need an Emergency Tooth Extraction

Stuff happens. Sometimes, despite our best preparations, accidents do occur. Bumps, bruises, sprains, and broken bones are all an unfortunate part of living an active, healthy lifestyle. The same can be said for our teeth. Sometimes, things happen that require us to get immediate medical attention.

As we all know, preventive care can be key to keeping your teeth healthy throughout the course of your life. There are a number of things we can do to prevent many dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and gingivitis. A good oral healthcare routine involves:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, typically in the morning and night, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Daily flossing to remove food stuck between teeth that can cause tooth decay.
  • Using mouthwash after flossing to wash away any food particles.
  • Avoiding acidic foods that can wear away at tooth enamel.
  • Eating hard foods cautiously. Take special care when eating things like hard candies and foods with bones, seeds, or pits.
  • Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products. These can potentially lead to oral cancer and other oral issues.
  • Using a mouthguard when participating in contact sports.
  • Being aware of any nighttime teeth grinding.

While all of these things can help reduce the risk of developing oral issues, emergencies do happen. It’s important to be prepared for those instances.

Let’s go over signs that you need an emergency tooth extraction and different types of treatment programs for dental care.

You Have a Toothache That Won’t Go Away

This is a telltale sign of needing a tooth extraction. If the toothache is moderate, try some at-home remedies. Some of these remedies can include over-the-counter pain relievers or ice packs. If the toothache is persistent and severe, this could be a sign of gum disease. Seeing an emergency dentist will help manage the pain.

Your Tooth Is Broken or Knocked Out

If your tooth is knocked out or broken, generally it will cause severe pain. If your tooth is just chipped and you don’t feel any pain from it, then you will not need to get an emergency extraction. In order to preserve a knocked-out tooth, saving it in a timely manner is very important. According to the American Association of Endodontists, you will want to:

  1. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the chewing surface), NOT the root.
  2. If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water.
  3. Reposition the tooth in the socket immediately, if possible.
  4. Keep the tooth moist at all times.
  5. See an endodontist or dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.

Your Gums Are Bleeding

Gums may bleed slightly after flossing, but if the bleeding is extreme and you are in pain, then it is time to see the dentist. There is a possibility that you may have gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or periodontal disease.

Your Mouth Is Swollen

Whether it is swollen lymph nodes or an infection, a mouth or jaw can be swollen for plenty of reasons. In very rare cases, it can result in cancer, but most of the cases are gum disease. Because there is no way to know for sure on your own, scheduling an appointment to see a dentist is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis.

Metal Taste In Your Mouth

Typically, if there is a metallic taste in your mouth, this could mean that a filling in your tooth got loose or it is cracking. The problem with leaving it like that is the fact that it could lead to an infection or cavities. Seeing an emergency dentist can save you from needing a root canal in the future.

Tooth Overcrowding/Impaction

One of the most standard causes of emergency tooth extraction is overcrowding and impaction. Overcrowding of the teeth happens when your teeth start to fight for space in your mouth. Teeth then grow improperly, which can lead to pain and eventually require tooth extraction.

Tooth impaction occurs when a tooth doesn’t fully come through the gums and is positioned against another tooth or bone. This is painful, and the symptoms can include long headaches, bad breath, and even trouble opening your mouth in extreme cases. Emergency tooth extraction is the best way to get rid of these symptoms.


Periodontitis is a form of gum disease that damages the soft tissue of the gums and can destroy the bones that support your teeth if not treated properly. This also can lead to sudden tooth loss. Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between teeth and gums (also called abscesses)
  • Sudden tooth loss
  • Swollen gums
  • Painful chewing

Especially with sudden tooth loss, seeing an emergency dentist could not only preserve the tooth but also gives the dentist an opportunity to replant the tooth.

Tooth Abscesses

A dental/tooth abscess is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth. An area of pus forms in different areas of the tooth or gums. There are two main types of tooth abscesses: periodontal and periapical. The periodontal tooth abscess forms within the gums at the tooth root’s side, whereas the periapical abscess forms at the tip of the root.

Typically, a tooth abscess is painful, but it can go unnoticed. This can still be dangerous as the infection will grow over time and possibly get worse. While the best course of action would be to take care of the abscess when it shows up, an emergency extraction would be needed if it gets to its worst point of infection.

These are all reasons why an emergency tooth extraction might be needed, but the question people usually ask is this: How will I pay for it? Luckily, Hope Healthcare has got you covered.

Dental Care for Hendricks County’s Uninsured at Hope Healthcare Services

At Hope Healthcare, we offer low-cost dental healthcare to our fellow people in Hendricks County. Even for those with no dental insurance, we will still do our best to accommodate patients. At HOPE Healthcare, our licensed dentists will be there to handle your teeth with care, as well as your oral health.

Hendricks County is currently ranked 2nd in Indiana for overall health, and we are committed to providing low-cost, quality healthcare for our fellow Hoosiers. Over 8% of Hendricks County is uninsured, and Hope Healthcare wants to ease that burden by giving dental care to those in the community that need it most. Our services include:

  • Referrals to root canals
  • Cleanings
  • Dentures
  • Extractions
  • X Rays
  • Diagnoses

Call Hope Healthcare Services at (317) 272-0708 to learn more about how to schedule a low-cost dental appointment.


How do I know if I need an emergency tooth extraction?

The need for an emergency tooth extraction may show up if:

  • Your mouth is swollen
  • Your gums are bleeding
  • Your tooth is broken/knocked out
  • Your tooth is impacted (wedged between the jawbone and another tooth)
  • You have a tooth abscess (pus)
  • You have periodontitis (gum disease)

How do you know if your tooth pain is an emergency?

It can depend on how long the pain lasts and how quickly the pain came on. For example, if a toothache has persisted for several weeks, and no home remedies or medications are helping, then this is an emergency. If there is a knocked-out tooth or the pain is severe and immediate, it is classified as an emergency.

When should I go to the emergency room for a toothache?

You really should go to a dentist in these situations because doctors can’t do tooth extractions. You can go to the emergency room for a severe toothache if there is no relief from over-the-counter pain relievers or at-home remedies. The ER will be able to help with antibiotics and pain medication, but that’s all they can do.

What is classed as a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is classified as anything unexpected that requires immediate attention. A dental emergency would be:

  • A broken/knocked-out tooth
  • Pain from an infected tooth abscess
  • Severe pain from a toothache
  • Metal taste in your mouth
  • Extreme bleeding of the gums