Toothaches in Children: 4 Causes
A toothache is the worst kind of pain! You can’t see it, it doesn’t go away on its own, and you can’t massage it like a muscle knot, especially in children. It’s also a clear sign of a significant problem that needs to be addressed right away by a Pediatric Dentist.
Cavities or tooth decay are the most common causes of toothaches. The pain your child experiences – which usually occurs when they eat or drink anything extremely hot, cold, or sweet – is an early warning sign that the pulp has become inflamed. The pulp is the soft, blood-filled component of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. If there’s a problem with the pulp, you’ll notice it throughout the tooth, and possibly even the jaw.
A toothache can be caused by a variety of things, including tooth decay:
A tooth fracture can occur when your child receives a sudden impact to the face while participating in sports. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF), players who do not wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to suffer tooth injury during competition. Because a fractured tooth isn’t always obvious to the naked eye and may not cause discomfort, a tooth trauma is sometimes only noticed at your child’s regular dental appointment. While a fracture may appear little, it can severely compromise the health of a tooth and should be treated as soon as possible.
If a “gum boil” or “pimple” appears along the gum line, it means a pus pocket has formed within the root of the tooth, and the decay has now progressed to a tooth abscess or infection. Abscess pain can be excruciating and agonizing. If the abscess is not treated, it will erode the bone and harm a developing adult tooth bud. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, he or she should see a dentist right once.
Gingivitis is the medical term for irritated gums. Gums that are inflamed are red and painful. When a child or parent brushes or flossing their teeth seldom or incorrectly, the gums will usually bleed when they try to brush or floss again. For a child to avoid gum inflammation and the discomfort that comes with it, daily brushing and flossing with parental assistance is necessary.
if your adolescent has an aching jaw or tooth with no evidence of decay or gum disease, they may be suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Chronic tooth grinding, if left untreated, can wear away tooth enamel, putting your teen’s teeth at risk for jaw discomfort, enamel loss, and increased dental sensitivity. Once all of your teen’s permanent teeth have erupted, your dentist may recommend a mouth guard to wear at night to assist treat bruxism. In most cases, young toddlers who grind their teeth do not have long-term damage to their teeth. When combined with other symptoms, teeth grinding can be an indication of Sleep Disordered Breathing.
To treat a minor toothache, do the following:
Tenderness can be relieved by drinking plain warm water (never hot or cold) with a teaspoon of table salt. When your child is in pain, they should rinse their mouth with salt water.
Floss on both sides of the aching tooth to get rid of any debris.
Pain management may sometimes require the use of children’s Motrin or Tylenol.
Call your Pediatric Dentist if the toothache persists for more than 24 hours or worsens.