How To Tell If Your Child’s Tooth Pain Is A Dental Emergency

Take care of tooth pain

Is my child’s tooth pain a dental emergency?

If your child is experiencing tooth pain, you may be wondering just how big of a deal it is. Does my child need to seek medical attention, or is it something that can wait?

Can I take care of a simple toothache at home?

If your child is experiencing a toothache and there wasn’t any trauma to the mouth, the first thing to try is a saltwater rinse. Using eight ounces of warm water, stir in a teaspoon of salt and dissolve it. Have your child swish the water in their mouth for a few seconds, and then spit it out. If there is something lodged in between your child’s teeth, it should dislodge itself with the rinse. 

If the saltwater rinse doesn’t work, try using dental floss to help remove whatever is stuck between the teeth.

If the irritation in your child’s mouth persists after removing the object, contact Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists to make an appointment so we can check out your child’s mouth issue.

A dental abscess needs immediate dental care.

A tooth abscess is when there is a bacterial infection inside the center of the tooth, or the pulp. We consider a tooth abscess a dental emergency and you should take your child to the dentist immediately to address the infection.

Tooth decay, chipped, cracked, or traumatized teeth are the most common causes of dental abscesses. Symptoms of a dental abscess include:

  • Pain during normal biting or chewing
  • Throbbing or a persistent toothache
  • Sensitivity to temperature, hot or cold
  • A fever
  • Swelling of the face or cheeks

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, give Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists a call immediately so we can check out your child’s mouth and assess the situation.

What if the tooth is chipped or cracked?

If your child has experienced a mouth trauma that has resulted in a tooth being cracked or chipped, you can consider this a dental emergency, and you should contact Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists immediately. 

If you can’t get to a dentist right away, there are a few things you can do at home to help with the shock and pain. First, gather up any pieces of the tooth you can find, and rinse the pieces before placing the tooth pieces in milk. Next, have your child rinse their mouth with a warm saltwater rinse.

If there is some bleeding from the chipped tooth, use a piece of gauze, and apply slight pressure to the area that is bleeding. If your child is experiencing minor discomfort, an over-the-counter pain reliever may help the pain subside. Place an ice pack or cold compress gently against the area if there is any sort of redness and swelling. Be sure to call your dentist and schedule an appointment so your child’s tooth can be examined.

What if a tooth was knocked out?

If a tooth was knocked out completely, handle the tooth by the crown, or the part you see inside your mouth, and gently rinse the tooth off with water if it is dirty. Have your child rinse their mouth out gently with water to make sure you remove any tooth fragments or dirt. During this time, give your dentist a call and let them know you are on the way, and provide as many details about what happened to the dental office.

If possible, gently put the tooth back into the socket. This allows the roots of the tooth to stay moist, warm, and intact. Do not try to force the tooth back into the socket if it does not want to fit. If the tooth doesn’t fit back into the socket, have your child try to hold the tooth inside of their mouth on the way to the dentist. If your child isn’t able to hold the tooth in their mouth, place the tooth in a small container of milk, which will help preserve the tooth, then make your way to Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists.

A knocked-out tooth has a chance of being saved if you can see the dentist within an hour of the accident where the tooth fell out.

Don’t hesitate to contact us about tooth pain!

If your child is experiencing oral discomfort, never hesitate to call us, and we can give you advice on whether you should stop by our office immediately, or try an at-home remedy first. We are here to help your child’s smile, and keep those teeth in top shape!