When you have a medical emergency, you go to see your doctor right away. When you have a sudden, urgent problem with your teeth, you should schedule an immediate appointment with your dentist. These are four common dental emergencies. If you experience any of these, it's important that you take the proper steps to treat your teeth.

1. Loose Tooth

When you're a child losing their baby teeth, a loose tooth is no cause for alarm. However, if you feel one of your permanent teeth is loose, that's a sign of a serious issue. A loose adult tooth can be caused by trauma or gum disease. If you notice your tooth is loose, leave it alone. Don't try to wiggle it or pull it out. In some cases, your tooth will heal itself on its own. If the problem doesn't cease in a week, call your dentist to schedule an exam.

2. Chipped or Cracked Tooth

Teeth are very sturdy, but sometimes they can be damaged if you bite down on something hard or hit your mouth. If you chip or crack your tooth, visit your dentist immediately. In some cases, they may be able to repair the damage with composite resin. If the damage is more significant, your dentist may decide to put a crown over your tooth to protect it. In the most severe cases, extraction may be necessary.

3. Missing Tooth

If you are involved in an accident that knocks out one of your teeth, the first thing you should do is try to remain calm. Next, gently rinse your tooth in lukewarm water if it was in contact with the ground or another dirty surface. Gently put it back in your tooth socket and leave it there until you can see a dentist. Ideally, you should see a dentist as soon as your tooth is knocked out, since this will give them the best chance at saving your tooth.

4. Toothache

A toothache isn't usually dangerous, but it can feel extremely uncomfortable. If your tooth pain is unbearable, call your family dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If your dentist isn't able to see you immediately, you can take over the counter pain medication to try to manage your symptoms. Toothaches are indicative of cavities, and they can sometimes make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold beverages. If this happens, try to stick to lukewarm beverages until you can see your dentist.