Child toothache is the most common reason for an emergency dental appointment.
Tooth aches start as intermittent pain in children. Your children will normally tell you when they are eating if they experience pain symptoms. Typically the pain lingers for a minute or two after eating or drinking fluids. If your child is very young and cannot tell you that they are in pain, observe if they are taking in foods and fluids at reduced amounts.
Child toothaches with baby teeth
When child tooth aches with baby teeth occur, it is best not to remove it . Most times the pediatric dentist can still save the baby tooth with a procedure called a pulpotomy, a procedure that removes the tooth decay and the sick part of the nerve contacting the cavity. Once removed, the pediatric dentist will place a medicine for the nerve inside the tooth and seal it with a baby tooth crown.
Child toothache with adult teeth
If your child is older and has pain in permanent teeth, they may require root canal treatment and a permanent crown for that tooth.
If your child is experiencing tooth pain symptoms that linger beyond a few minutes after eating or if the tooth pain occurs spontaneously, the tooth has a deeper infection that may require a tooth extraction.
After the pain, it may not be over
Parents sometimes disregard their child’s tooth pain until it goes away. This happens after a few weeks but this only means that the nerve inside the tooth is dead. As the infection runs deeper through the tooth and in the jawbone an abscess can form. This appears as a bubble or pimple on the gums just below the tooth. If left untreated, the abscess can spread to other areas in the face forming cellulitis– a general soft tissue swelling that can spread quickly to the airway, the eyes, or even the brain. As you might imagine this can prove life-threatening or deadly.
Avoiding child toothaches
Ultimately the best way to avoid a toothache is to have frequent and consistent check-ups with your dentist every 6 months as well as focus on proper oral hygiene at home (brushing twice a day and flossing in the evenings).
Getting help for your Child’s Tooth Ache
If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing tooth pain please call Junior Smiles Children’s Dentistry® at 303-455-3313 for an emergency evaluation with one of our pediatric dentists.