A dental emergency usually refers to a condition causing acute pain related to the teeth, gums and supporting bone (i.e. toothache), or other structures in or around the mouth (i.e. orofacial pain). Sudden loss of a dental restoration (such as a crown or a bridge), causing cosmetic concern or difficulty eating is also sometimes referred to as a dental emergency, even if there is no pain. In this respect, a dental emergency is not usually a type of medical emergency, since there is only rarely a threat to life .
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (February 2014)|
Dental trauma refers to an injury on hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity and face. This includes the teeth and surrounding tissues, the periodontium, tongue, lips and cheeks. It is more prevalent with children between 8- 12 years of age but can still happen to anyone. The prognosis of the tooth is worse the longer it is out of the mouth.
The following is a list of dental trauma affecting different surfaces of the teeth and periodontium.
- Injuries to the hard dental tissues and the pulp
- Enamel/ crown infraction – incomplete crack limited to the enamel with no loss of tooth structure
- Enamel fracture – loss of tooth surface confined at the enamel
- Crown and root fracture – involves dentine and cementum but not necessarily pulp
- Root fracture – fracture involving the cementum, dentine and pulp, with coronal portion of root displaced
- Uncomplicated crown fracture – fracture of the enamel with/ without dentine involvement, with no disturbances to the pulp
- Complicated crown fracture – involves the enamel, dentine and pulp
- Injuries involving periodontal tissues
Luxation injuries where the periodontal tissues are injured include sublaxation, extrusive luxation, lateral luxation, intrusive luxation, concussion and avulsion
- Pulpitis (toothache). Acute pulpitis can be severe enough to disrupt sleep, prevent adequate nutrition and interfere with work, education or other normal activities.
- Odontogenic infection, e.g. periapical abscess, periodontal abscess, or acute pericoronitis. Generally, any infection which is rapidly spreading, threatens the airway (i.e. where there is dysphagia and/or drooling), or involves the eye (canine space), or in a person with a compromised ability to fight infection (e.g. diabetics), or is otherwise serious may require treatment in hospital. Severe infections can very rarely result in conditions such as Ludwig's angina or cavernous sinus thrombosis.
- Dental trauma, especially avulsion
- Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.
- Infection of odontogenic cyst
- Dental barotrauma and barodontalgia. A sudden incapacitation of diver or aviator due to barometric-induced tooth fracture or toothache, respectively, may be life-threatening to the individual and the airplane passengers.
- Trigeminal neuralgia and other neuropathies such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
The treatment is cause-related. For example, oil of cloves, which contains eugenol, can be used to treat dental pain; a drop can be applied with a cotton swab as a palliative . After wisdom tooth extraction, for example, a condition known as dry socket can develop where nerve endings are exposed to air. A piece of sterile gauze or cotton soaked in oil of cloves may be placed in the socket after careful cleaning with saline to relieve this form of pain .
Analgesics such as aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are also commonly used; aspirin and ibuprofen have the additional benefits of being anti-inflammatories. Ice and/or heat are also frequently applied . A dentist may prescribe an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid such as Dexameth for pain relief prior to treatment. 
- Flores MT, Andersson L, Andreasen JO, et al. The International Association of Dental Traumatology (April 2007). "Guidelines for the management of traumatic dental injuries. I. Fractures and luxations of permanent teeth". Dent Traumatol 23 (2): 66–71. doi:10.1111/j.1600-9657.2007.00592.x. PMID 17367451.
- Zadik Y (December 2008). "Algorithm of first-aid management of dental trauma for medics and corpsmen". Dent Traumatol 24 (6): 698–701. doi:10.1111/j.1600-9657.2008.00649.x. PMID 19021668.
- "Definition of Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG)". Medterms.com. 1999-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- Zadik Y (Jul–Aug 2009). "Dental barotrauma". Int J Prosthodont 22 (4): 354–7. PMID 19639071.
- Zadik, Yehuda (April 2009). "Barodontalgia". J Endod 35 (4): 481–5. doi:10.1016/j.joen.2008.12.004. PMID 19345791. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
- Zadik, Yehuda; Chapnik, L; Goldstein, L (June 2007). "In-flight barodontalgia: analysis of 29 cases in military aircrew". Aviat Space Environ Med 78 (6): 593–6. PMID 17571660. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Drangsholt, M; Truelove, EL (July 2001). "Trigeminal neuralgia mistaken as temporomandibular disorder". J Evid Base Dent Pract (Mosby, Inc) 1 (1): 41–50. doi:10.1067/med.2001.116846. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Zadik Y, Vainstein V, Heling I, et al. (September 2010). "Cytotoxic chemotherapy-induced odontalgia: a differential diagnosis for dental pain". J Endod 36 (9): 1588–92. doi:10.1016/j.joen.2010.05.004. PMID 20728733.