There’s nothing remotely fun about having a toothache. But if adult toothaches are bad, it’s worse for children. According to Gulur et al., children have a “more profound inflammatory response” to pain than adults do, as they do not have a “central inhibitory response.” This lack then makes things like toothache much more unbearable than it typically is.
When your child has a toothache, it’s typically a warning sign. Pain happens when tooth decay hits the pulp chamber. The dental pulp inside a tooth contains blood vessels and nerves, so once compromised, it becomes sensitive to the pain. Aside from this, however, a toothache can arise for other reasons, such as:
- Stuck food particles. When food gets stuck where it shouldn’t be, it can jam itself between the teeth over time. This action could then irritate the gums, prompting a toothache.
- Cracked or chipped teeth. Aside from tooth decay, chips in the teeth could also trigger a pain response if it reaches the pulp chamber.
- Loosened dental fillings. If a dental filling gets loose or taken off, it can leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria or foreign particles. When they enter the sealed-off area, it could trigger it.
- Growing teeth. Sometimes toothache might not come from an infected tooth. At times, the pain comes from the irritation of a developing tooth, especially in younger kids.
Toothache is usually common in children who eat a lot of sugar in their food, as this helps unhealthy oral bacteria eat away at the tooth enamel. Giving your kids healthy food for their teeth, then, is an excellent way to prevent toothaches from flaring up. But what do you do if your child already has one?
Keep the pain down as much as possible
No good parent wants their child suffering. Easing the pain is then the utmost priority, particularly when it comes to toothache.
When a toothache occurs, the gums and the surrounding areas may get tender. To ease this, most professionals recommend gargling a glass of warm saltwater. Make sure that the rinse is not too cold or too hot. If your child’s cheek is also affected, you may opt to use an ice pack to control the swelling. For quicker pain relief, you can also opt to purchase some child-friendly painkillers from your nearest pharmacy.
Bring your child to the nearest pediatric dentist
When, then, should you bring your child to the dentist? Answer: as soon as possible. While these measures may give relief for a while, it won’t last very long. If the toothache comes from any of the problems we listed above, immediate action can prevent the issue from worsening.
While these cases come far and away, there have been instances that an inadequately untreated toothache lead to more severe complications, even death. But if the cause of the pain is relatively benign, it’s still best to take your child to the dentist to eliminate other causes. Fortunately, you won’t come short of pediatric dentists around. Whether it’s in Kauai, Maui, Hilo, or Aiea, you’re sure to find a pediatric dentist to your liking.