The Causes of Toothache Pain

The most common cause of a toothache, by far, is a cavity. The pain from tooth decay can be unbearable. If it happens at night or on the weekend, the idea of waiting until Monday may be out of the question. If you’re in that fix, remember us at OnCall Dental in Fresno and Hanford.

The main reason a cavity causes tooth pain is that the decay has reached the inner layer of tooth called the dentin. If the pain is really severe it may have reached the center of the tooth, which is more serious. Get to our office as soon as you can.

Other Causes

While it’s the most common, an orindary cavity is not the only cause of a toothache. Here are some others:

  • Tooth abscess. This is, in fact, advanced tooth decay. The decay can actually infect the root and surrounding tissue. It can cause a lot of pain that spreads along the other teeth, to the point where pinpointing the problem area can be tricky. It’s a serious condition and needs to be treated promptly.
  • Damaged fillings. In a perfect world, a tooth filling would last forever. Unfortunatley it doesn’t work that way; fillings can wear out, become cracked, or covered in pits or grooves. When that happens the sensitive part of the tooth, repaired by the filling, is exposed. We’ll need to replace the filling.
  • Factured tooth. A tooth can be cracked in any number of ways, from an accident at home to a sports mishap. Fractures can be painful, but we can treat them. (We’ll take this opportunity to remind you: in sports, a mouthguard is essential gear!)
  • Gum disease. Tooth pain may also be a sign of gum disease. You will typically noticed a full pain in the mouth, along with bleeding gums. This should be treated promptly. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.

At OnCall Dental we are only a phone call away. But in an emergency you do not need to make appointment. We have offices in Fresno and Hanford, and treat toothache pain and specialize in emergency dentistry.  Walk-ins are always welcome!

Emergency Dental Care

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we treat all manner of dental emergencies. While there are things you can do yourself before being treated, remember that in most cases it is better to have us look at what’s going on to determine whether further treatment is needed.

Common dental emergencies include the following:

  • Severe toothache. Nothing will get your attention quite the way a bad toothache will. It could be an indication of a more serious problem, like an abscess or an infection. In the short term over-the-counter pain relievers and a cold compress can help,  but make come see us, too.
  • Broken or chipped tooth. There may or may not be any pain from a broken or chipped tooth. Either way, let us take a look at it. Swish some water around your mouth to keep it clean, and brush if it isn’t painful.
  • Knocked out tooth. This is one of the most serious dental emergencies there is, and immediate treatment is needed. If we can treat you within an hour there is a very good chance the tooth can be saved. Bring the tooth with you (never touch the root) and keep it moist.
  • Something stuck between your teeth. Never use sharp objects to try to dislodge something stuck between your teeth, not even a toothpick! Try dental floss, and if that doesn’t work tie a small knot into it. If that doesn’t work, call us for an appointment.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno emergency dental care is our specialty, including toothache relief. Walk-ins are always welcome!

Contact OnCall Dental – Fresno: 599-477-4553

Wear That Mouthguard!

There are no precise figures, but it has been estimated that every single year, three million kids have one or more of their teeth knocked out while playing sports. Some of them end up at OnCall Dental in Fresno for emergency treatment.

Most kids love playing sports, and that’s a good thing: it gets them lots of exercise, teaches the importance of teams, fair play, and plenty of other life lessons. But there are risks involved, and parents have to take every possible precaution.

Wearing a mouthguard when playing sports is just as important as helmets, knee pads, and other protective gear. Even so-called non-contact sports like basketball can get pretty rough; all it takes is an accidental elbow to the jaw to knock out a tooth.

A mouthguard can prevent that. The American Dental Association says that wearing mouthguards prevent more than two hundred thousand mouth injuries every single year! That includes keeping teeth from being chipped, cracked, or knocked out.

Mouthgaurds range from the inexpensive boil-and-bite variety available at any sporting goods store to higher-end, custom mouthguards. Ask us for a recommendation.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we think any youngster who plays sports should wear a mouthguard, even pick-up games on the local playground. Better to be safe than sorry! We specialize in emergency dental care, and we’re here if you need us. Walk-ins are always welcome. But with a little precaution, your youngster will be safe on the playing field!

Contact OnCall Dental – Fresno: 599-477-4553

Stuck! What to Do, and Not Do

Ever get something stuck between your teeth? Of course you have. At best, something stuck between your teeth is  bothersome, especially if it takes a long time to remove it. At worst it is painful, and an emergency requiring professional attention, like what we provide at OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Some people have narrow and tight spaces between their teeth. They seem more susceptible to getting things wedged in there. It can cause pressure and discomfort, and even pain.

Before you head to our office there are some things you can try at home to dislodge what you have stuck between your teeth.


The first tip we have is what not to do. It may be tempting, and it may even seem like it would work. But never use a sharp object to try to pry out something stuck between your teeth. Repeat, never. That includes toothpicks. You run the risk of damaging your gums, or even your teeth.

Here is what you should try:

  • Rinse your mouth out vigorously. Use lukewarm saltwater. You may need to repeat several times, but this is often enough to loosen whatever is stuck.
  • Dental floss. Dental floss, especially waxed, is excellent for getting things from between teeth. Waxed floss slides easily into tight spaces. If it won’t go in, do not force it. Floss picks with tight strands of floss are useful. Also useful is tying a tiny knot into the floss, to snag the object and free it. But again, never force things.

If these methods don’t work, give us a call. At OnCall Dental in Fresno we have the tools and skills to help you out. We specialize in emergency dental care, and have dislodged a lot of stuff from the teeth of our patients. Walk-ins are always welcome!

Contact OnCall Dental – Fresno: 599-477-4553

Is It An Emergency?

There is no such thing as a dental problem that gets better on its own. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. But some problems are more serious than others, and demand the sort of immediate attention available at OnCall Dental in Fresno.

How do you know whether your dental issue is an emergency, or something that can wait? Our short answer is that it is always better to err on the side of caution. More to the point: there are certain problems that should never wait.

  • Pain When Chewing. If the simple act of eating is painful, that is a big red flag. There are different reasons why chewing can be painful. It may be a crack in a tooth, or similar damage, or it might be a problem with gums or tooth enamel. Whatever it is, don’t delay: come see us as soon as possible.
  • Swollen Jaw. Swelling is a big tip-off that could be a serious infection, also known as an abscess. There will likely be sensitivity in the teeth, or even a fever or bad taste in your mouth. An abscess is serious. Not only will it not get better without treatment, it could spread to other parts of the body.
  • Bleeding Gums. This may indicate gingivitis, which is early stage gum disease. It isn’t necessarily an emergency, though you should never put off seeking treatment. On the plus side, gingivitis is easy to treat. On the negative, gum disease is progressive, so it will probably get worse without professional care.
  • Chipped, broken, or knocked out tooth. All it takes is a careless moment on the playing field, or even at home, to damage your teeth. A knocked out tooth is easily the most serious of these conditions. If it happens to you, make a beeline to our office. Keep the tooth moist. When treated promptly – an hour or less – the tooth might be saved. Chipped or broken teeth can be treated with bonding.

If you suspect a serious dental problem, time is of the essence. The sooner you see us at OnCall Dental in Fresno, the better. We specialize in emergency dentistry and offer dental implants and other services.  Walk-ins are always welcome!

Contact OnCall Dental – Fresno: 599-477-4553

Tooth Knocked Out?

When it comes to dental emergencies, a knocked out tooth is about as serious as it gets. If it happens to you, get to OnCall Dental in Fresno as quickly as you can.

emergency dentist FresnoOne of the most important things to remember is that you are in a race against the clock. If you are treated within an hour of the tooth being knocked out, the chances are very good your tooth can be saved.

Another important thing to remember is that when we say a tooth knocked out, we mean a tooth knocked out. A chipped or cracked tooth is an emergency, but not nearly as urgent as a knocked out tooth.

If you have a knocked out tooth, this is what to do:

  • Find the tooth.
  • Never touch the root. Pick up the tooth by the crown, which is the part you chew with.
  • Clean it. Lick it if you have to. You can also gently rinse it, but don’t use soap and don’t scrub!
  • Keep it moist. If you can place it back in the socket, do so. If not, place it under your tongue or in a container of milk. Wrapping it in tissue and spitting on it works, too.

Once you get here we will do everything possible to save the tooth. It bears repeating that the sooner you get here, the better.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we specialize in emergency dentistry.  In emergency cases you do not need an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.

All About Dental Emergencies

Everyone has a different pain threshold and a different idea of what constitutes a dental emergency. At OnCall Dental in Fresno, we offer urgent dental care, and remind you to never take any chances when it comes to your teeth.

In other words, if you think you might have a dental emergency, don’t delay: hightail it to our office and let us take a look.

Chances are that if you have a genuine dental emergency, you’ll know it. It may be a throbbing toothache or a chipped tooth, or even a tooth knocked out of your mouth. There may be blood. Use your best judgment, but always err on the side of caution.


You can sustain a tooth fracture in any number of ways. You might fall of your bicycle or take an elbow to the mouth during a pickup basketball game. You could damage a tooth in a car accident: in a world with no guarantees, a dental trauma could occur in a multitude of different ways.

Things to consider:

  • Is there any pain?
  • If so, how great is it?
  • Is there blood?
  • Is there a chipped or cracked tooth?

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we specialize in emergency dentistry. A toothache won’t get better on its own; a chipped tooth won’t repair itself. But we can help. In emergency cases you do not need an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.

Severe Toothache?

Toothaches are never any fun, but when they get so bad they throb, it may be a sign of tooth damage. When that happens you should seek help right away. Remember us at OnCall Dental in Fresno!

emergency dentist FresnoThe most common cause of tooth pain is a cavity. Cavities can allow air and germs to get inside the tooth, which can infect its pulp – the soft tissue made up of nerves. The most immediate result of infection is pain.

Tooth infection can lead to an abscess. That means the tooth’s pulp is beginning to die. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria that’s causing it, but sometimes a root canal is necessary. If that happens, don’t worry: the root canal will eliminate your pain. With modern dental techniques you will not have any discomfort.

Other Symptoms

A toothache will not necessarily throb, of course. Other toothache indicators include:

  • A dull, persistent ache
  • Sharp pain when biting
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain or tenderness in the mouth
  • A bad taste or smell in the mouth
  • Fever

If you have any of these symptoms, it is a sign that something is going on and you should not ignore it.

At OnCall Dental in Fresno we provide toothache relief, and specialize in emergency dentistry. Your toothache won’t get better on its own; the sooner we are able to treat it, the better off you’ll be. In urgent cases you do not need to schedule an appointment; walk-ins are always welcome.

Immediate Attention: Knocked Out Teeth

A knocked-out tooth is one of the most serious dental emergencies there is, requiring immediate attention. If it happens to you or to someone you know, remember us at OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Something we cannot stress enough: you’re in a race against the clock. If a knocked out tooth is treated within an hour, there is a very good chance the tooth can be saved.

In the meantime, here are some things you can do before getting to our office:

  • Find the tooth.
  • Do not touch the root; pick it up by the crown (the chewing part).
  • Clean it. You can rinse it off in water, or lick it if need be.
  • Put it back in place. This only applies to adult teeth. Baby teeth are not re-inserted; it could damage the adult tooth beneath it.
  • Put a handerchief over it and bite down to keep it in place
  • If you cannot get it back in place, put the tooth in milk, or under your tongue.

Once you’re here, we will numb the area. If you were able to get it in the socket we’ll make sure it is properly positioned. Once we’ve  taken x-rays and are satisfied the positioning is good, we’ll splint it in place so it can heal. This takes about two weeks.

If you were unable to find the knocked-out tooth, your options include getting a dental implant to replace it.

People get a tooth knocked out millions of times every year. It is among the most serious dental emergencies there is, but we’ve had a lot of experience and you’ll be in good hands. You can call ahead on your way in, but you don’t need an appointment and walk-ins are always welcome. At OnCall Dental in Fresno emergency dental care is our specialty.

Something Stuck?

Getting something lodged between your teeth can be really uncomfortable, even painful. It can drive you nuts, too. There are things you can do at home to dislodge something that’s stuck, but if it’s really wedged in there, your best bet is coming in to OnCall Dental in Fresno.

Before we give you some tips on what to do at home, here is a warning about what not to do: don’t use a toothpick, or any other pointed tool you might find in the junk drawer. A toothpick could easily crack while you dig with it, and leave a splinter. You’ll end up worse than when you started. And if you try some other pointed tool, you risk accidentally stabbing your gums.

So, that’s what not to try. What should you try?

  • Interdental picks. Not to be confused with a toothpick! These handy devices are available at any grocery or drugstore. They are soft and flexible, taper to a point, and are rigid enough to dislodge most stuck objects.
  • Dental floss. Floss is also a good bet. Waxed floss, in particular, is good for slipping into tight places to remove popcorn kernels or other stuck debris. It may help to tie a knot or two into the floss, and pull it through your teeth from the inside out.
  • Your toothbrush. The bristles of your toothbrush may be enough to push out whatever it is you have stuck between your teeth. (Use a soft bristled toothbrush for this, and for all of your brushing.)
  • Water flossers. A good blast of water may be just what you need. Water flossers emit pulsing jets of water that you can direct right at the stuck object.
  • Rinse. You may not have a water flosser. Rinsing your mouth out is probably not as effective, but certainly worth a shot. Use as much force as you can, for at least thirty seconds.

The most sure-fire method is to come in to OnCall Dental in Fresno. We have lots of experience with things stuck between teeth, and other dental emergencies. Walk-ins are always welcome: you don’t need an appointment!