If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site

Ruedi Tillmann DDS MAGD and Wes Tillmann DMD | Emergencies in Murray

Ruedi Tillmann DDS

Wes Tillmann DMD

Dane Nelson DMD






Please call us at 801-281-8433


A broken tooth or an abscessed tooth can be miserable and usually occurs at the most inconvenient time.  Please don't hesitate to give us a call, especially if there is swelling that is occuring on the lower jaw or around the cheeks and/or eyes.  IF THE SWELLING HAS SPREAD TO THE NOSE, EYES, NECK OR YOU HAVE DEVELOPED A FEVER, YOU NEED TO GO TO THE NEAREST ER.  A toothache is rarely a true emergency, but can happen.  Below are some examples of non-emergency toothaches.


What if my tooth hurts to bite on?

If your tooth hurts to bite down on, or you feel a throbbing pain, your tooth is most likely abscessed.  What causes an abscess is usually an infection from bacteria that has spread into the pulp of the tooth from a cavity.   If this has occured, it's usually very obvious on an  x-ray.  The treatment for this problem is to clean out all of the cavity and disinfect and clean out the entire tooth all the way to the end of roots.  This procedure is a "root canal".  A root canal procedure is very safe and painless and usually takes about 1 hour.


How do I know if my tooth is abscessed?

Usually an abscessed tooth hurts to bite on or feels like it has a lot of pressure in it.  Sometimes people complain of a "throbbing" pain with the tooth.  Another sign that could occur with an abscess is you could develop a "pimple" right on the outside of the gums by the tooth that hurts.  This pimple can be popped and this is where the abscess from the tooth is draining.  Sometimes a tooth can be abscessed and present no symptoms at all, but is only detected after an x-ray has been taken and examined.


How do I know if my tooth is "dying"?

Teeth can become necrotic, or die unexpectedly.  What causes a tooth to die is usually trauma (getting hit in the face or long-term grinding and clenching).  Over time, the tooth has reacted by building up strong tooth structure within the tooth to withstand the effects of the trauma, and subsequently the buildup has "choked" the tooth or cut off its own blood supply.  It is then only a matter of time before the tooth will die and begin to abscess.  **** A dead tooth feels like a dull ache that lasts for a few days and usually goes away.  Then the ache returns within a few weeks or a few months later.  This cycle of "on and off" toothache occurs for awhile until an abscess develops.  It is very common for a tooth with a crown or a large filling to die as well.  The most common symptom of a dead tooth is a dull ache and cold sensitivity.


What if I just get a real "sharp" pain when I eat?

A "sharp" pain that results from biting on the tooth is usually a CRACKED TOOTH.  Cracked teeth can be the most painful of all dental emergencies.  A crack in a tooth will usually just need a crown or "cap" placed on the tooth.  Most of the time a crown dissolves the pain with biting.  A small filling can fix a crack, but usually if the crack is causing tooth pain, it's usually too large of a crack to be fixed with a filling.  If the crack extends into the pulp chamber, the tooth will need a root canal and then a crown.  Lastly, and most rarely, if the crack extends beyond the pulp chamber and down the center of the tooth, the tooth most likely needs to be extracted.  This is most common with a tooth that has had a root canal procedure done and a crown was never placed over the tooth to protect it.


What if my tooth is sensitive to cold?

If the tooth is "hyper"sensitive to cold drinks or cold air, it is most likely dying or is infected from bacteria.  Try rubbing some ice on the tooth.  If it hurts to put ice on it and the pain lingers**, then it most likely is dying or is infected.  If the tooth is just slightly sensitive to cold, it could just be some gum recession, where the gums above the tooth have moved downwards and exposed the root of the tooth.  This is painful as well, but does not usually require a root canal.


What if my tooth was knocked out?

Please call right away!  The longer you wait to call, the less chance there is to save the tooth.  If the tooth has completely been knocked out of the mouth, DON'T rinse it off.  Find a cup or a jar and put the tooth in the cup with MILK.  Saliva is actually the best medium to place the tooth in, but usually the injured individual is too hurt to provide that much saliva, so MILK is the next best thing.  If you don't have milk then just place the tooth in water.  The tooth can most likely be placed back in the socket it fell out of with a good long-term prognosis.  A root canal procedure will most likely be needed at a later date.


Murray Dentist | Emergencies. Wesley Tillmann is a Murray Dentist.