Toothaches are one type of dental pain that your child may experience. There are a variety of toothaches your child can experience. Some of the most common toothaches include: 

    1. Pain is present in a specific area 
    2. When the child eats or chews certain food on one side or the other 
    3. If the pain is ever present or constant 
    4. If swelling exists on the inside of the mouth or outside of the face 

A true dental emergency exists if there is swelling on the inside or outside of the face and the pain for the child is constant.

This is indicative of an abscess.

An abscess is the build up of infection under the tooth. This is emergent because if it is left untreated it can cause other health issues:

  • Poor diet and nutrition
    • There is nothing more helpless than to watch your child suffer with a toothache.  To compound everything, dental pain makes it very difficult for your child to chew.  This means that the more nutritious choices (crunchy vegetables and less processed foods) are pushed aside for foods that are easier to chew (processed foods that are less nutritious). Poor nutrition can lead to bigger health problems or exacerbate existing conditions (obesity, asthma, ADD, allergies)
  • Damage to the underlying adult tooth, if it is a baby tooth
    • Abscessed baby teeth are painful and they introduce harmful bacteria into your child’s body.  Abscessed baby teeth also disrupt the formation of the adult tooth below your child’s baby tooth.  This disruption can cause the permanent tooth to have defects or anomalies that your child will have for the rest of their life or a disruption of the eruption of the permanent teeth.  
  • Infections and illnesses
    • Bacterial infections of the teeth are linked to dental abscesses. Because children are prone to infection because of their undeveloped or weaker immune system, a dental abscess can set off other infections. 
      • Ear infections
      • Sinus Infections
      • Tonsillitis
      • Throat infections
  • Death 1,2
    • Sadly, a dental abscess left untreated can spread to the brain. Permanent brain damage and death are possible because of the infection and bacteria that are introduced to the brain.

If you notice your child has swelling inside or outside their mouth and they are complaining of dental pain, don’t wait, call our emergency line. 

Warr Pediatric Dental Associates has a 24-hour emergency line 336-887-9277.  When the office is closed press the number “4” to directly connect to our emergency line.

  1. https://nypost.com/2019/07/18/my-toothache-became-an-infection-that-nearly-killed-me/
  2. https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2017/09/13/news/ask-the-dentist-once-a-leading-cause-of-death-oral-abcesses-can-still-be-serious-1133707/