A toothache can quickly turn a joyful child into a miserable one, and it’s important to know how to provide effective relief while addressing the underlying issue.
Toothaches in children can be caused by a variety of factors, such as cavities, loose teeth, gum infections, or even erupting adult teeth.
Here’s a quick guide on how to help a child with a toothache, from immediate pain relief to seeking professional dental care.
The First Steps to Relieving a Toothache
When a child starts to complain about a toothache, a lot of parents start to panic imagining the worst-case scenario. For peace of mind, the first thing to do is call your pediatric dentist in Louisville, KY, and schedule an appointment.
Even if you’re not sure whether you need the appointment, waiting too long may cause more significant issues. While some toothaches require professional help, if the pain goes away and it turns out to be no big deal, you can always cancel later. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
To relieve your child’s pain while waiting for your dental appointment, there are several things you can try:
Give them Advil or Tylenol – This will immediately relieve the pain and it is safe for children. Always be sure to follow the instructions on the package for dosage.
Use a Heating Pad – Lay down with a heating pad on the side of the face where the problem is happening. This will reduce pain and make your child more comfortable.
Avoid Giving Your Child Foods that Can Trigger Pain in the Tooth – Stay away from sugary snacks as well as hard food that is difficult to chew.
What Causes Toothaches in Children?
Toothaches in children are common and they usually occur because there’s a problem with one of the three parts of your child’s tooth.
A kid’s tooth consists of three layers – enamel, dentin, and dental pulp. If the tooth loses its enamel, the dentin becomes exposed.
When dentin is exposed, it can hurt the nerves which are found in the dental pulp.
When sugary, hot, cold, or acidic food comes in touch with the dentin, it sends signals to the nerves resulting in pain.
What Types of Toothaches Can Occur in Children?
Persistent Throbbing Toothache Without Visible Trigger – Pain that does not stop and usually keeps your kid awake at night is caused by an abscess or inflammation of the dental pulp. An abscess is usually a reaction to a bacterial infection. Inflammation is often caused by deep cavities or trauma like a fall or bump on the mouth.
Sharp Stabbing Pain When Chewing – If the toothache only happens when your child is eating, it could be due to a cracked tooth. This type of pain may be inconsistent or only happen when a child chews in a particular way or a particular type of food.
Toothache That Occurs After Eating Hot, Cold, Sugary, or Acidic Food – This is likely due to damaged enamel from either trauma or cavities
Constant, Dull Ache in the Jaw or Teeth – Consistent pain without any obvious trauma or trigger may be caused by gum disease, dental pulp, or impacted wisdom teeth. For deep and full pain, immediate treatment is necessary to avoid infection and continuing discomfort.
Immediate Relief for Little Teeth
Toothaches can be distressing for children, so maintaining a calm and soothing demeanor can help them feel at ease.
Your support and care will play a significant role in helping your child recover with a smile.
Dental issues can worsen if left untreated. Reaching a Louisville emergency dentist as soon as possible is crucial to return to happy smiles.
Since 1986, Dr. William E. Kemper, DMD has been providing quality pediatric dental care in Louisville, KY and the surrounding areas. Dr. Kemper and his staff specialize in pediatric oral examinations, restorative dental treatments, and sedation dentistry, as well as emergency dental care. Our office also caters to children with mental or physical disabilities. Help your child develop healthy oral care habits by scheduling a dental appointment today!