Small children can develop dental emergencies just as adults can. Here are a couple of pediatric dental issues that are often viewed as emergencies and how you should respond to them.
Severe Tooth Pain
If your child is experiencing a severe toothache, you may not know what is causing the discomfort. Some severe tooth pain is due to dental issues that should be professionally assessed and treated as soon as possible.
Tooth pain can result from an inflamed dental nerve within the pulp of the tooth. The inflammation may be caused by a significant dental infection that will need to be treated by antibiotics and a pulpectomy or root canal.
If your child's tooth pain has just started, you may want to treat it with an oral pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are also numbing medications that can be applied directly to the throbbing tooth. Nevertheless, if these medicines do not alleviate the pain, the issue may require professional care. It is best to contact your child's dentist and describe the symptoms. The dental staff can suggest the best treatment options for your child's specific needs.
If your child's pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as bad breath, foul-smelling fluid leaking from the area around the tooth, or the presentation of an abscess around the tooth, the dentist may suspect a dental infection and could require you to bring the youngster into the office that day. However, if the tooth pain is believed to be caused by simple dental sensitivity, an analgesic medication may suffice.
If your child's tooth has been knocked loose by trauma, the dentist may ask you to hold the tooth into the correct position for a period and schedule a next-day appointment. However, if the tooth is so loose that it threatens to completely detach from the gums, your youngster may need to be seen as soon as possible.
A tooth that is dislodged or close-to-detached can often be salvaged if it is treated quickly. It is often best to leave the tooth in place until you reach the dental office, but if the tooth does come out of the mouth, you can place it in the pocket of the inner cheek or in a glass of milk for safe keeping. In addition, if you feel that the tooth needs to be cleaned, rinse it with cool water, but avoid scrubbing it or using detergent.
If you believe your child is having a dental emergency, contact a dental office like Kids First Pediatric Dentistry in your area for advice on what you should do next.