Is Severe Toothache A Dental Emergency?

Is Severe Toothache A Dental Emergency?

Nov 01, 2022

Pain can be a complex experience for adults and children alike. Unless your child has recently had an oral procedure, like tooth extraction, oral pain should be enough reason to be concerned.

Oral or dental pain often indicates that the child has an underlying condition like tooth decay or has hurt their mouth.

It’s also worth noting that sometimes toothaches can be mistaken for other problems like jaw pain or earaches.

Therefore, it’s essential to take your child to a pediatric dentist near you to determine the root cause of the pain and get treatment.

If the pain is severe, your child might need emergency dental care to address the issue and get relief from the discomfort.

In this article, let’s learn about common causes of toothaches among children and when you should seek emergency care.

Common causes of Toothaches in Children

While numerous factors can cause toothache among children, below are the most common reasons:

Cavities. Your child’s teeth can erode due to bacterial plaque and acid attacks. Erosion causes tiny holes in teeth, also called cavities. Over time, these cavities get deeper, exposing more of the tooth’s inner structures. An exposed tooth’s dentin or nerve can feel sensitive or cause pain, especially when biting down.

Tooth decay. When not treated promptly, cavities get deeper and can eventually expose the pulp chamber to bacteria, causing an infection or decay. It can cause significant discomfort and even swelling near the affected area. The pulp is the innermost structure of the tooth and contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves.

Oral trauma. It’s normal for children to hurt their mouths during a fall or when playing. This can result in painful dental injuries such as chips, cracks, and breaks. Oral trauma can also cause jawbone and soft tissue injuries, which can be mistaken or accompanied by toothache.

● Bruxism. Does your kid grind their teeth or clench their jaw when sleeping or stressed? Chronic and regular teeth grinding can cause significant pressure on the teeth and jaw. Chronic and regular teeth grinding also results in discomfort, teeth damage, and jaw problems, as well as causes significant discomfortGet your child a custom mouthguard if they have bruxism.

● Gum disease. Like adults, children can also get gum disease. If your child’s gums are red, sore, sensitive, bleeding, tender, or receding, they might have gum disease. Receding gums can expose the teeth’s roots, causing pain.

● Stuck food. Sometimes tooth pain can be caused by hard foods trapped between your child’s teeth. Try flossing or brushing your child’s teeth to eliminate the trapped debris and discomfort.

● Aggressive brushing and flossing. A child might think aggressive brushing is the best way to clean their teeth thoroughly. However, aggressive brushing and hard-bristled toothbrushes can irritate the teeth and gums, resulting in pain.

● Tooth eruption. Your child can also experience tooth pain when a new tooth erupts from the gums. It is normal, and the pain should fade away after some time.

● Loose teeth. As the permanent tooth comes in, it tends to push against the gums and baby teeth, resulting in pain.

● Poor diet. Feeding your child hard and sugary food can cause tooth pain or sensitivity.

Symptoms of toothaches

Depending on the cause, toothaches can accompany other symptoms such as:

  • Gum swelling and soreness
  • Dental abscesses (a pus-filled pimple around a painful tooth)
  • Tooth chips, cracks, and breaks
  • Loose teeth

Toothache Causes That Require Emergency Dental Care

While a mild toothache at night can wait until morning when the dentist opens the office, you may need to act much faster if your child is experiencing severe or unbearable discomfort.

Contact an emergency dentist near you or visit an ER if your children have severe tooth pain, especially if this pain accompanies other serious symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Facial swelling
  • Severe dental and soft tissue injuries
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Dental abscesses

Schedule an appointment today

Are you looking for emergency dentistry for children? Contact Sunny Smiles Kids to speak with our dentist right away.