May 6, 2015

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Infected Teeth

Whether it is a baby tooth or an adult tooth, infected teeth can cause great discomfort and can become a medical emergency. Watch out for the five signs below.

1. Spontaneous Pain: If your child is waking up at night and crying about tooth pain, it is an infection. Your child may not complain and just avoid using the tooth when chewing. If the discomfort is triggered by hot, cold and sweets, the tooth might not be infected but is just sensitive.

2. Swelling: If there is gum swelling that looks red and angry, it is a sign of infection.

3. Dark Discoloration: If the tooth colour is not getting lighter, very likely there is inflammation process going on inside the tooth. After trauma to the tooth, your child should see a dentist periodically to closely monitor and make sure the baby tooth is not damaging the adult tooth.

4. Increased Mobility of Tooth: Front teeth exfoliate around ages 6-8 and back teeth exfoliate around ages 10-12. If the teeth are getting wiggly prematurely, this is a sign of infection.

5. Draining Fistula: When there is pus accumulated underneath the tooth, it can become a fistula. In many cases, this looks like a white pimple on the gum.

 

How to Treat an Infected Tooth

Antibiotics and Painkillers: Usually symptoms of infection are treated with antibiotics and painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). These medication only treat symptoms and do not treat the cause. Your child needs further dental treatment to treat infection.

Infected Baby Tooth: If a baby tooth gets an infection, most likely the infected tooth needs to be extracted. This is because there is an adult tooth underneath the baby tooth and infection would damage the growing adult tooth.

Infected Adult Tooth: Usually adult teeth get root canal treatment. It is a procedure where infected pulp tissue is removed.

 

When to Go to Emergency

1. Difficulty Breathing and Swallowing

2. Fever that does not come down

3. Facial Swelling: one side of the face is visibly swollen compared to the other side.

“I am extremely happy with our experience, all the staff we have met are extremely friendly and helpful. Dr Ella Choi and her staff have been wonderful and patient with my son that has an anxiety disorder and have done all they can to try to calm him. All dental work and costs that have been needed have been explained in detail and they take the time to make sure you understand what is involved. I have been to other Pediatric Dentistry Clinics and have often felt rushed. Thank you all at Playtime Pediatric Dentistry I appreciate all you have done for us. - Daniella D.”