5 Signs Your Child Needs to See an Emergency Dentist

5 Signs Your Child Needs to See an Emergency Dentist
Posted on 03/22/2022
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Children, like adults, are not immune to dental concerns. A report by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) unveiled that 42% of children between 2 and 11 years old develop one or more cavities.

Even though cavities are a leading cause of pediatric dental emergencies, kids can also suffer from orthodontic problems, pediatric gingivitis, and tooth sensitivity, among other concerns requiring immediate treatment.

Here are five common signs that your child needs emergency dentistry.

1. Persistent Tooth or Jaw Pain

Pain is the body's way of telling us that something is wrong. If your child complains about pain radiating from a tooth or the jaw, the first course of action should be to administer a child-safe OTC medication like ibuprofen. If the pain persists, an emergency dental appointment may be inevitable.

Tooth decay or root damage can cause a throbbing toothache, but they are treatable using fluoride treatments or dental filling. 

On the other hand, jaw pain can arise from a more complicated issue such as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMD) or sinus problems.

Your dentist will devise the best treatment based on the root cause of the jaw pain. The specialist may recommend a bite guard if the pain is caused by clenching the jaw or grinding teeth.

2. Red or Swollen Gums

Swollen gums are often a sign of a severe bacterial infection that can quickly go from bad to worse if left untreated. Some of the common causes of swollen gums include pediatric gingivitis and dental abscesses. 

Note that the failure to seek urgent treatment can result in avoidable tooth loss.

3. Knocked-Out Permanent Teeth

Losing baby teeth is a natural milestone that most parents look forward to eagerly. However, losing a tooth because of a traumatic impact such as an accident during a contact sport or a hard fall must not be taken lightly. This is especially true if your child loses a permanent tooth.

Act promptly to increase your chances of saving the tooth. Try reinstalling it gently into its socket as you head to the dental clinic. If this is not possible, pick the tooth by the crown and place it in a glass of milk. 

As long as you seek immediate assistance, a dentist can save the natural tooth and install it firmly into its original position. If this is not possible, the expert can provide restorative dentistry to fix your child's smile.

4. Unusual Rate of Losing Teeth 

Another concern that cannot wait is if your child is losing teeth at an alarming rate. Children can often lose a baby tooth or two within a few months. However, there may be cause for alarm if your child is losing multiple teeth simultaneously or too frequently. Emergency pediatric dentistry is necessary if you notice symptoms like swollen lymph nodes, fever, and nausea that could indicate a problem.

5. Persistent Bad Breath

Persistent bad breath can signify serious dental concerns like tooth decay and gum disease. It could also indicate that your child has an oral infection situated in a hard-to-examine position. If your little champ is not eating strong-flavored foods and if brushing and flossing don't remove the odor, you could be dealing with a major dental or health concern.

Be aware if your child constantly complains of having a weird or foul taste in their mouth. If the taste is metallic, they could have a damaged filling. A salty taste is likely the taste of pus from a ruptured abscess, while a copper-like taste may indicate bleeding gums.

At Treasured Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the stress and worry of pediatric dental emergencies. That is why we are always ready for patients who require urgent care. We enjoy working with children and teens and strive to ensure that each visit is fun, comfortable, and positive. If your child needs emergency dentistry in Frankfort and the surrounding areas, contact us to book an appointment.