Every day is a new learning experience with children. For the first time parent, it’s hard to differentiate the reasons for loud cries and wails. When a child starts crying, a parent keeps wondering, “How to handle it?” or “What to do next?” It could be due to tooth pain.
As a child grows, a lot keeps happening and changing in the child’s mouth (popping, falling & setting of teeth). There can be a lot of pain during this, making the child cranky. And it’s nothing new. We all have sailed through it.
We’ll Discuss What Could Be Causing A Child’s Tooth Pain And How To Take Care Of It.
When your baby gets the first tooth during childhood, you are overjoyed. But later, after a few years, when the same child knows that it will fall out, he is equally horrified.
There are many discomforts involved in the ongoing teething process. Sometimes severe pain and aches are also involved.
You need to be extra careful whilst dealing with all the issues related to your child’s dental health.
How to deal with toothache in children?
When an infant or toddler is in pain, the first step is to pacify them. And later, examine carefully to know what is causing the pain.
By rubbing and touching the child’s body parts gently, you will know which part is causing the pain.
Toddlers’ dental emergencies must be addressed at the earliest, else the pain will persist.
If you notice facial swelling or fever, examine their teeth and gums for infection. Also, check if there are any signs of injury or trauma.
Sometimes, we may not be aware of broken or chipped teeth, which can cause unbearable pain in toddlers.
In case of an accident or fall, you should immediately rush your child to the dental clinic. Broken or dislocated jaw and chipped or loosened teeth must be treated as soon as possible.
What are the common causes of toothache in children?
Children generally consume a lot of sugary and starchy foods and seldom clean their mouths. The long gaps between brushing and flossing give ample time for bacterial growth to start depositing around the teeth and form plaque.
The plaque deposition on the tooth surface destroys the tooth enamel and causes small openings and cavities in the tooth.
If tooth decay is ignored, it can result in cavities, eventually exposing the tooth pulp chamber that contains the nerves and blood vessels and causing toothache.
Here are some of the most common causes of toothache.
Gingivitis – It is gum inflammation, which causes redness, swelling, and tenderness in the gums. If it’s not treated well, it may lead to a severe tooth infection. The common cause of Gingivitis is plaque and bacterial growth. In young children, gum inflammation can happen due to teething as well.
Gaps in dental crowns – The standard dental treatment for dental decay (cavities) or dental defects is a restoration of a pediatric crown in children. Due to gaps and loose fillings, bacteria can penetrate inside and cause inflammation and pain in eating/biting.
Accidents or injury – Toddlers and infants often fall flat, hurting mouth and jaws. Most of the time, nursery and school going kids often injure themselves during sports or other physical activities.
Clenching – It means teeth grinding. Some children have this tendency to clench their jaws and develop misaligned teeth. It erodes tooth enamel and puts pressure on temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which causes pain. The chipped and eroded teeth also cause sensitivity while eating or drinking.
Sinus – There is a connection between sinus and toothache. When a child has sinus inflammation, it creates pressure on the teeth, which hurts. The nasal congestion and added pressure generate pain in multiple teeth, which improves after the inflammation is gone.
Dental Abscess – A small, pus-filled pimple on gums is a dental abscess. They cause severe pain, radiating to the jaw, neck or ear. It is extremely painful for the child. Abscesses are formed due to injury or opening in gums.
Dental abscess mainly causes constant and sharp pain. Other symptoms include fever, bad breath, foul taste, shiny, swollen gums, or facial swelling. Specialists consider it a dental emergency that must be treated immediately. If left untreated, it can cause infection, which can spread to teeth and even other parts.
Harsh brushing – Children are often playful whilst brushing their teeth. But incorrect, hard or aggressive brushing can damage tooth enamel, and sometimes gums get bruised.
Food & drinks – Your child’s eating habits are indeed a cause of concern for tooth health. Too much sweet intake causes tooth decay, while acidic foods can cause harm to tooth enamel.
Moreover, biting or chewing something either too hot or too cold also affects teeth sensitivity which can cause temporary pain.
Also, eating foods that are hard to crack creates pressure on teeth. Sometimes the food gets lodged between the teeth or under the gum line. This can hurt too.
How to deal with a child’s toothache before going to the dentist?
A child in pain must be handled with lots of love and warmth. Now that we have already shared reasons for toothache, you must be wondering how to deal with it at home. So here we bring some grandma’s remedies to help you manage the situation.
Do proper brushing and flossing. It helps clean the bits of food particles, which get stuck in teeth, causing discomfort.
Use lukewarm salt water rinse. It is a natural remedy for tooth pain relief.
Place an ice pack around the pain area. It provides immediate numbing and reduces inflammation.
Give hurting children any safe OTC pain reliever. It will help get rid of tooth pain.
These are a few suggestions to deal with dental emergencies at home. Else, in most cases, a toothache is probably a situation that can be better handled by a dentist only.
The rule of thumb is not to delay taking an appointment with a pediatric dentist to diagnose the exact reason for the pain.
It is recommended to schedule regular oral health check-ups. This can help determine any tooth decay, discolouration, swelling in gums, injury, or infection. Knowing this, you can act on time and save your child from unnecessary suffering.
For more information, get in touch today!