Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful experiences, requiring immediate attention to prevent further complications. Whether it’s a sudden toothache, broken tooth, or injury to the mouth, urgent treatments may be necessary. Luckily, emergency dentistry can deliver swift care to help alleviate pain and initiate healing.

Are you currently dealing with a smile emergency? Contact Dr. Thomas F. Brown in Naperville, IL, at (630)369-3120 to get speedy care in a friendly environment. 

While knowing what to do in a dental emergency is important, knowing what to avoid is equally important. In this blog, we highlight seven critical mistakes to avoid when faced with a dental emergency.


One of the biggest mistakes people make during a dental emergency is delaying seeking professional help. Ignoring or downplaying the issue can lead to worsening pain, increased damage, and more complex treatments

If you experience sudden and severe tooth pain or a dental injury, don’t wait for the problem to resolve on its own. Reach out to your dentist for emergency dentistry immediately.


Attempting to treat dental emergencies with over-the-counter painkillers or home remedies isn’t always recommended. While they may provide temporary relief, they won’t address the underlying problem. Moreover, certain medications may interfere with potential treatments or complicate the diagnosis. 

Always consult a dental professional to properly diagnose and treat the issue.

Ignoring Dental Hygiene

During a dental emergency, some individuals might neglect their oral hygiene routines due to fear or discomfort. However, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial, even during these times. 

Gentle brushing and flossing around the affected area can help prevent the situation from worsening until you can receive emergency dentistry. If brushing and flossing are too painful, gently swishing with a saltwater solution can help prevent microbial growth. This 2017 study found that saltwater can be a valuable method of controlling oral bacteria.

Using Sharp Objects

Never attempt to use sharp objects (like pins, needles, or scissors) to remove debris from between your teeth or around the affected area. These tools can cause further damage to the gums, teeth, or soft tissues. 

Instead, gently rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss, if possible, to remove any stuck particles.

Applying Excessive Pressure

Applying excessive pressure to the injured area can aggravate the problem. Avoid biting down on hard objects or clenching your teeth in response to pain. These actions can cause additional trauma and might even lead to a broken or cracked tooth. 

Delaying Communication

Don’t hesitate to communicate your dental history and any relevant information to the dentist or dental professional attending to your emergency. Inform them of any allergies, medications, or pre-existing conditions to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Using Aspirin Directly on the Tooth

Placing aspirin or other medications directly on the tooth or gums is a common misconception. Doing so can lead to chemical burns and irritation, worsening the situation. Instead, swallow painkillers as instructed and let them work through your system.

Emergency Dentistry in Naperville, IL

A dental emergency can be a distressing experience, but it’s essential to stay calm and follow the right steps. Knowing what to do during such a situation is just as crucial as knowing what not to do. By being aware of these critical mistakes and seeking prompt professional help, you can get lasting relief

Request emergency dentistry online or call Dr. Thomas F. Brown and his friendly team in Naperville, IL, at (630) 369-3120.