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Who's at risk for a dental emergency?

Lifestyle, medical and dental history can all contribute to the quality of your oral health as you age. Here, our Ottawa dentists explain who is most at risk of a dental emergency and what you should do in case of one.

Posted Mar 29th, 2023 in Emergency

Who is most at risk for a dental emergency?

Throughout our lives, we face different challenges that leave us at risk for a dental emergency. The truth is that dental emergencies can happen at any time in our lives, and have different causes. Here are a few common causes for dental emergencies in children, adults and seniors.


Children often lead active lifestyles that see them being physically active, but also facing hazards such as sports injuries. They also need to watch how many sugary snacks they are eating, as sugar can cause tooth decay and early cavities.

Injuries to the teeth due to blows to the mouth during physical activity can be prevented by wearing a custom-made sports mouthguard.

From the time their first tooth erupts through the gumline, children need to see their dentist regularly and practice a great at-home oral hygiene routine to ensure their teeth develop properly. This will help them build a solid foundation for oral health throughout their lives.


As we age, our teeth can become discoloured and we can experience decay. That’s why a rigorous at-home oral care routine and regularly scheduled dental appointments are critical to maintaining oral health and keeping cavities, gum disease and other conditions at bay.

Between the ages of 17 and 25, wisdom teeth may also erupt, potentially resulting in a dental emergency if they cause severe tooth pain. Infections in our teeth can also lead to pain and discomfort, and result in urgent visits to the dentist.

Most of these can be prevented or at least minimized by seeing our dentist regularly so he or she can track oral health and any conditions that should be treated. Also remember to brush and floss daily.


By the time we reach our golden years, we’ve had a lot of life experience – but also many opportunities for our oral health to decline. After a lifetime of use, our teeth can endure wear and tear.

Grinding can result in jaw pain or TMJ Disorder, and gum disease may advance to the point that the gums begin to recede. This can leave tooth roots exposed - and lead to painful infections or conditions that may result in dental emergencies that need our dentist’s immediate attention.

Many seniors will also need dental implants to deal with certain or conditions or sudden dental emergencies or issues that come up.

No matter what your age, your dentist can assess your oral health and provide a dental risk assessment, taking into account your lifestyle and unique circumstances that may factor in to your overall risk of experiencing a dental emergency.

Wondering if you are at high risk of a dental emergency, contact our Ottawa dentists today to book an examination.

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