It is always hard for any parent to see their child in pain, and toothache can be pretty unpleasant. If your child does develop a toothache then the first thing to do is to find out if it is accompanied by fever or facial swelling, as these symptoms could mean it needs to be treated as an emergency. The next thing is to try to find out exactly where it hurts, and this is something that is not always as easy as it sounds. In general, any toothache that is bad enough to keep a child awake through the night, and which lasts into the next day will need investigating by Dr David Brown or another of our dentists at Leeds City Dentalcare. This is because it could be a symptom of a problem that will only become worse if left untreated.
Common Causes of Tooth Pain in Children
The most common cause of tooth pain in children is dental decay. This is where bacteria in the mouth have been able to penetrate the tooth, causing pain and infection. It may even be possible to see signs of cavities in the mouth, as these can appear as brown spots on the teeth, especially on the biting surfaces of the back teeth.
If there don’t seem to be any obvious signs of decay then it is worth taking a look at the gums. It may be that there are sore spots or signs of swelling on the gums that could indicate an infection such as a dental abscess. It is also possible that your child may have mistaken the pain as coming from their tooth, when in fact it is coming from a site nearby.
If this fails to provide any clues then try gently brushing and flossing around the area where the pain is located. It could be that they have something stuck underneath the gum that is enough to dislodge the tooth slightly, causing pressure. If this fails to provide relief then you probably need to take steps to try to ease the pain until you can get them to our Leeds surgery. You can give your child painkillers that are age appropriate, or you may wish to apply an ice pack for a short while, but you do need to take care not to hold in position too long, as a minute or two at a time is plenty long enough. You should never rub painkillers directly on their gums as this could damage the gums. This is something of an old wives tale that won’t help adults with toothache either!
It is also well worth asking your child if they had a recent injury to their mouth that they forgot to mention, as this could have injured the tooth in some way, and could have even damaged the pulp that is located in the centre of the tooth. If they did have an injury, then check their mouth for any obvious signs of damage to the soft tissues, and clean any wounds with antiseptic. Leeds City Dentalcare realises that many children find going to the dentist somewhat scary, and you can rest assured they will be treated with kindness and compassion as all the dental staff will do their best to reassure them. Making sure your child has regular dental care with our dentist in Leeds who will help alleviate these fears as they will grow to view these visits as being nothing more than routine.