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Tooth Aches: When to Visit the Dentist

May 9, 2019

Tooth Aches

Seeing your child in pain is the worst feeling for any parent. The discomfort caused by toothaches can also affect the overall health of a child. Most parents automatically assume that a child has a toothache due to tooth decay or a dental cavity. However, there can be a number of reasons why a child experiences a toothache.

Food stuck between teeth is a common cause of toothache among children. Erupting teeth or a bitten tongue can also cause pain that can spread to other areas of the mouth. Once you’ve confirmed that the pain is indeed being caused by a problem in the teeth, there are a number of possible dental problems that might be responsible.

Tooth Decay

Untreated dental decay is the leading cause of toothaches among children. According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of five children in America aged 5 to 11 years has at least one untreated decayed tooth. Depending on the extent of penetration of the decay, the pain can be mild to severe. In extreme cases, the pain and infection can lead to problems with eating, drinking, and speaking.

Tooth Infection

If tooth decay is left untreated for a long time, it will eventually reach the soft center inside the tooth. Once it reaches the inner pulp, it’s likely to cause an infection. An infected tooth causes extreme pain and inflammation as well as high fevers among children. It can also create abscesses in the teeth which drain foul-tasting liquids and increase the chances of losing the teeth.

Gum Disease

Although children are unlikely to develop gum diseases, sometimes due to poor oral hygiene gums can get infected. Not brushing and flossing daily or aggressive brushing can cause the gums to become inflamed and swollen. Once the infection spread to the teeth, it causes severe toothaches. If your child complains of bleeding gums while brushing their teeth, it’s possible they may have gum problems.

Visiting the Dentist

There are certain at-home treatments that can help alleviate toothaches. Rinsing the mouth with a glass of warm water can soothe the gums and reduce inflammation. In some cases, using an ice pack or cold water can also help relieve the pain in the teeth.

However, if the toothache persists even after medication, it’s recommended to get a proper dental examination to determine the cause. In case you can see a cavity, there’s a lump in the gums, or your child is suffering from a fever, contact a pediatric dentist immediately.


Our Children’s Dentist offers emergency dental care service for the greater Houston area, Beaumont and Corpus Christi, Texas. Our team comprises of certified pediatric dentists, a warm and caring staff, and a child-friendly environment. We perform all kinds of emergency and preventative dental services including sedation dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special health care needs. Contact us at 713-244-7796 for a dental appointment for your child today!