Understanding Pediatric Dental Emergencies
Pediatric dental emergencies take many forms and may occur at any time. Parents sometimes get confused when a dental emergency occurs to their child as they may not understand what the problem is and what to do about it. We outline a variety of pediatric dental emergencies, their symptoms and some of the things that you can do even as you rush your child to see a dentist.
Children often break or fracture their teeth especially when playing or from a fall. When this happens, ensure that you pick as many pieces of the broken tooth as you can. It might also help to cover the broken edges of the tooth with dental wax. This will help reduce the possibility that the child will bite himself or herself and cause further injury to the soft tissue in the mouth.
Teeth Fall Out
Sometimes the impact to a child’s mouth is so strong that the whole tooth (or several teeth) falls out. This is a dental emergency that requires a visit to the dentist as soon as possible. When you are dealing with an older child, gently wash the tooth with warm water and place it back in the socket even as you go to see a dentist. When you are dealing with a small child, carry the tooth with you as there is a risk that the child might swallow the tooth.
Another common pediatric dental emergency is when your child is facing severe toothache. There are many reasons why a child could be facing this condition and all require a prompt visit to the dentist. Check to see if the pain is accompanied by ear pain as well and brief the dentist when you get to the clinic.
In most cases, the first sign of tooth decay in a young child will be pain or sensitivity in a tooth. If the parent is exceptionally observant, they may have noticed cavities on the tooth long before the pain starts. Any one of these signs should be taken seriously and the parent needs to have the child examined by a doctor immediately. If caught early, tooth cavities can be fixed and the negative effects of decay on the tooth reversed.
When your child has an abscess on the tooth, it means that there is an infection in the root of the tooth. This causes a swelling that is visible on the gum accompanied by severe pain. Abscesses also causes a foul smell from the child’s mouth and the condition sometimes causes a fever. You should see a doctor as quickly as possible as the infection can spread to other parts of the child’s body.
When children are out playing, it is possible for the child to lose some or all of the filling in a tooth. This leaves an exposed cavity on the child’s tooth that is prone to infection if left untreated. Always ensure that you see a dentist as soon as possible so the cavity can be cleaned to remove any bacteria and the filling restored.