Is a Gum Injury a Dental Emergency?

Is a Gum Injury a Dental Emergency?

An optimal dental hygiene routine includes daily brushing and flossing, so it’s easy to assume your teeth are the focal point of dental care. However, if you don’t focus on your gums, you could easily lose the teeth you’ve diligently cleaned for years.

At Supertooth™, located in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, and Germantown, Maryland, we focus on keeping your entire mouth healthy. From routine checkups and cleanings to state-of-the-art orthodontics, we’ve got you covered. 

We even offer emergency dentistry for those unexpected accidents that require immediate care. Here, we discuss the many types of gum emergencies and how we treat them.

How gum injuries happen

Healthy gums are firm and stable. But like all soft tissues, your gums can sustain damage. The two most common gum injuries are passive and traumatic.

Passive gum injuries occur gradually from brushing your teeth too hard or with a stiff-bristled brush. Flossing aggressively can also cut your gums. Gum disease is another type of gum damage that occurs slowly. Although these gum problems require attention, we don’t consider them emergencies.

Traumatic gum injuries occur during an accident, like a fall or a sports injury. You can even injure your gums by using a toothpick or other sharp instrument in your mouth — one slip can slice or puncture your gum tissue. 

Cut gums bleed a lot and require immediate dental care from our team at Supertooth. 

How to spot a gum injury emergency

Cuts and tears in your gum tissue are apparent indicators to schedule an appointment, but you may also have a gum emergency that’s difficult to identify. Here are signs your gums need emergency care:


Infected gums progress quickly and can spread to the rest of your body if you don’t seek treatment. You may have a gum infection if you see pus draining from your gums or red streaks in the tissue. Pain, fever, and chills often accompany gum infections.


Inflamed gums are telltale signs of gum disease. But severely swollen gums after an accident or injury could mean you have an abscess that needs urgent care. 


Ideally, your gums look light pink and firm to the touch. If yours are bright red and squishy, you may have an infection or other underlying problem that calls for immediate care. 

What to do during a gum injury emergency

You’ll notice a lot of blood if you've cut your gums. But the blood mixes with your saliva and looks worse than it is. Still, you want to clean the wound and stem the bleeding. Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution and apply direct pressure to the cut using sterile gauze. Next, call us. We can assess the damage, stitch the wound if necessary, and prevent infection.

If you have a foreign object stuck between your teeth causing a gum injury, try to remove it. But don’t use excessive force because it can cause further damage. Call us for emergency care. 

For an abscess or infection, rinse with saltwater. The condition needs professional oral care from our team of experts. We locate the infection site, drain the pus, clean the area, and prevent the infection from spreading.

Do you have a gum injury emergency? We’re here for you. Call us in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Maryland. 

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