What Is Considered A Dental Emergency

What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?

Team Emergency

Dental emergencies come in many forms. Whenever the situation is urgent and requires immediate treatment, it is considered to be a dental emergency

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, call Hudson Valley Periodontics & Implantology at 845-623-6666. During regular office hours we will make arrangements to see you as soon as possible. After hours please follow the instructions on our voicemail and someone will contact you shortly. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department.

Examples of Periodontal Emergencies 

Some dental emergencies are periodontal, meaning they affect the support structures for the teeth, such as the gums and jaw. Here are some examples of periodontal emergencies we treat: 

  • Abscess. An abscess is a pocket of infected tissue that forms on the gums. It is typically a raised bump with a white head that resembles a pimple. An abscess can be very uncomfortable and should be treated before the infection spreads. 
  • Gum tissue injuries. An injury to the mouth that damages the gum tissue may be a periodontal emergency. Depending on the severity, treatment may be necessary, such as stitches to control bleeding and encourage proper healing of the tissue. 
  • Loose permanent teeth. If one or more permanent teeth become loose they should be treated right away. A splint may be needed to stabilize the teeth while the gums and ligaments heal and tighten back down on the teeth. 
  • Knocked out tooth. If one or more teeth come completely out of the socket, immediate treatment is needed to save the teeth. If you can, put the tooth back in the socket and bite down on some clean gauze. If not, put the tooth in milk or saliva and contact us. There is only about a 30 minute window of time that the tooth can live outside the mouth and still be saved. 

How To Determine If You Have an Emergency

It can sometimes be difficult to determine if you have an emergency and how urgent it is. Here are some questions to consider. 

  • Can your pain be managed with over the counter medication? If the pain is manageable with over the counter pain medication and our office is closed, you may be able to wait until we open the next day. If we are open, feel free to call.
  • Can this wait until the next day? When it comes to after hours treatment, ask yourself if the situation can wait until the next day or if it needs immediate attention. 
  • Is there uncontrolled bleeding, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness? If bleeding cannot be controlled or if the person is having difficulty breathing or loses consciousness, call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency department. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Emergencies


What causes an abscess? 

An abscess is a sign of an infection, either in a tooth or the gum tissue. A pocket of swollen tissue forms that may bleed or ooze. Severe gum disease can cause abscesses to form on the gum tissue. 

How do I know if a gum tissue injury is an emergency? 

If an injury disturbs the gum tissue in a significant way, it may be difficult to stop the bleeding. It may also leave one or more teeth exposed. Contact us and we will see you as soon as possible to determine what treatment is necessary. 

Who Should I Call For a Periodontal Emergency?

If you or someone else is experiencing a periodontal emergency, call Hudson Valley Periodontics & Implantology at 845-623-6666. We provide prompt treatment for dental emergencies both during and after regular office hours.