How to identify if your child has a dental infection
Dental infections are one of the main issues that we aim to prevent in children. A dental infection may be caused from dental trauma, untreated tooth decay, or gum disease.
Prevention is always better than cure and the same goes with a dental infection. Routine preventive care is always helpful.
In this article we will take you through some basic signs of what might signal that your child has an infected tooth.
THE SIGNS OF A DENTAL INFECTION
A dental infection can sometimes be hard to detect. Below are some common signs and symptoms that your child may experience from an infected tooth.
Infected teeth can sometimes become discoloured. Look out for a tooth that has turned a shade of brown or grey. For parents who still take part in brushing their child’s teeth, this is often the easiest way to spot infection early.
Swelling around the infected tooth often shows up as a solitary lump that is soft to touch and sometimes can drain or burst if pressure is applied to it. At times these can also present with swelling of the face or jaw. It is important to contact your dentist should your child have a swollen face.
Sensitivity and pain
Pain and sensitivity around the infected tooth may be the first noticeable symptoms, along with pain when chewing.
Kids may complain of a bad taste in their mouth, or you may notice significantly bad breath on multiple occasions.
TREATMENT OF A DENTAL INFECTION AT MACARTHUR PAEDIATRIC DENTISTRY
If you notice any of the above signs in your child and you suspect that they have a dental infection then it is important to seek immediate care. If it is not treated, then the infection can cause surrounding damage to the teeth, bones and sometimes even the gums.
Teeth that are infected can sometimes be treated with a procedure called pulpectomy where the infected root canal in the tooth is treated with a medicament. At times if the infection is quite severe or the tooth is unable to be restored, extraction of the tooth may be the only available option. If we do need to remove the tooth, then a space maintainer may be required, depending on your child’s age.
HOW CAN YOU CARE FOR YOUR CHILD AT HOME AFTER TREATMENT?
We will provide you with instructions on how to treat and monitor your child after their treatment. Home pain treatment may include:
- Cold compresses to reduce swelling
- Sticking to soft and cold foods while their mouth is still numb
- Warm salt water mouth rinses starting 24 hours after the day of the procedure
- Keeping up with pain medication as your child needs it.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST TREATMENT FOR ANY DENTAL INFECTION
There are situations that despite a parent’s best efforts, tooth decay and infection happen.
We all know that the best treatment for dental infection is prevention. You can do this by ensuring your children brush their teeth twice a day, floss once at night, limit sugary snacks and see the dentist regularly.
If your child is overdue for their next appointment give us a call on (02) 9188-0202 or book online here.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics and to help begin the conversation with your children’s dentist. It should not be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care professional prior to incorporating this as part of your child’s diet or health regimen.