Although each toothache is different – with different causes, different levels of discomfort, and different remedies – a toothache can often be an unpleasant experience for a child. Some toothaches are caused by dental decay or an infection in the tooth, infected gums, tooth fractures, or damaged fillings. Other toothache-like experiences may be a result of teething pains or caused by loose teeth. These types of pains are typically experienced as baby teeth are erupting from the gums or as the child transitions into their adult teeth.
Important Note: In any of these cases, especially when the child is experiencing discomfort, it is always best to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist for a full evaluation of the issue. If in the Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, Gardner, or Greater Kansas City Metro Area, you are welcome to call Dr. Cobb The Kids Dentist at (913) 829-0981 for an appointment.
As mentioned at the top of the article, there are many causes for toothaches or toothache-like pain. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to talk about typical toothaches, how to manage the immediate discomfort, and what to do next.
When a child complains about tooth pain, often the first thing a parent should do is have them rinse out their mouth with warm salt water (if they’re at an age where they can perform a rinse and spit). You can try flossing around the teeth in the area where the pain is greatest – given that some types of tooth pain may be caused by food wedged between teeth. These two home remedies may solve the problem entirely.
Managing pain is often the second thing to do when a child has a toothache. There are a variety of remedies for toothache pain, but in children the best thing to do may be to apply a cold pack or cold compress to the jaw line nearest the affected area. Twenty minutes with a cold pack should relieve much of the pain and swelling. If pain persists, alternate with the ice pack (20 minutes on the area, 20 minutes off). If the swelling and pain does not subside, call your pediatric dentist for an appointment.
Important Note: Many parents are likely to administer an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen to reduce the pain associated with a toothache in a child. Please call your child’s physician or your pediatric dentist before doing so.
Keep in mind that persistent toothache pain is likely to be a sign of trouble with a tooth. If toothache pain persists, make an appointment with your child’s dentist and allow them to examine the area for decay, fracture, or a cavity. Your pediatric dentist will discuss a treatment plan with you that will have your child pain-free and smiling in no time.
This article is brought to you by Dr. Cobb, an Olathe, Kansas provider of comprehensive, high- quality pediatric dental care. If you wish to make an appointment for a dental cleaning or evaluation, feel free to contact the office of Dr. David J. Cobb – The Kids Dentist!