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Are You Having a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can be one of the most painful and debilitating things that a person can experience and they rarely happen at a convenient time.  Whether you are dealing with something small like a filling or crown that has fallen out, or something serious like swelling or severe pain, give us a call.  Dr. Nick Young and Dr. Glenn Payne see emergency patients of all kinds on a daily basis and can help you feel better at our Orem Office.


Toothaches are one of the most common emergencies we see in our office.  Toothaches can arise due to dental decay, broken restorations, abscesses, cracked teeth, trauma, tooth root exposure, gum problems, and many other reasons.  Sometimes the cause might be obvious to you, but in many cases a toothache can happen out of the blue for no apparent reason.  If you are having a toothache, it is important that you get attention as soon as possible to determine cause and severity of the problem, and get some relief.


Swelling of the gums or cheeks is always a cause for concern.  Most often, we see swelling caused by a dental abscess.  This is a localized bacterial infection (an infection on one specific tooth) that arises after a tooth has died and the bacteria proliferate.  Swelling can happen suddenly or over time, but it is always a cause for concern.  Antibiotics are often prescribed prior to initiating treatment in these cases to help the body rid itself of infection.

Tooth Sensitivity

Although it is usually not an urgent emergency, and not one that hits you without warning, tooth sensitivity can be debilitating and annoying.  Sensitivity usually arises when the gums have receded and left a tooth root exposed to the oral environment.  Cold things, sweet foods, breathing, hot things, and even light touch can make such teeth feel very tender.  Treatment for sensitive teeth ranges from simply changing your toothpaste to needing dental treatment.  Cavities and cracks can sometimes begin as mild sensitivity though, so be sure to have sensitive teeth checked.

Mouth or Face Injury

Traumatic injury can happen for a variety of reasons.  Unfortunately, our teeth are in a pretty vulnerable spot in our faces and front teeth are especially prone to getting bumped around during sports or other activities.  Trauma can result in teeth being broken, pushed to the side, pushed in, pushed out, or even completely knocked out.  Most traumatic injury cases require immediate attention.

Knocked out tooth

Professional sports team dentists report that unless knocked out teeth get immediately placed back in their socket, they stand very little chance of surviving very long.  If you are unlucky enough to have a tooth knocked out, put it back in place ASAP (unless it is dirty from touching the ground) and call us for urgent care.  If a knocked out tooth can be saved, and does get put back in place quickly, you can bet it will require a root canal at minimum.  Fortunately, for those times where teeth cannot be saved, modern dentistry provides several good options for replacing teeth, including implants and bridges.

Broken or cracked teeth

Broken teeth may or may not cause severe pain, but they should always receive professional attention.  The severity of a broken tooth and the treatment it requires depends largely on how deep the broken area goes into the tooth.  Some broken teeth can be fixed with fillings while others may require root canals, crowns, or even be non-restorable.  Cracked teeth that have a crack in them, but have not yet broken.  Like broken teeth, the treatment required to fix a cracked tooth depends on how deep a crack goes.  Cracked teeth are often the hardest type of toothache that dentists encounter, with regard to making an accurate diagnosis.  If you have a broken or cracked tooth, make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.

Persistent Bleeding

Persistent bleeding be a cause for concern and should always be attended to.  In cases of severe hemorrhaging, seek immediate medical attention (emergency room).  Bleeding can also happen as a result of trauma, gum disease, and other problems.  If you experience bleeding gums on a regular basis, especially during routine brushing or flossing, you likely have some level of gum disease that needs treated.  Gum disease rarely causes pain until its latest stages though, so don’t rely on your level of pain to judge severity; get a dental appointment as soon as possible.

It's time to clean those pearly whites!