When Is A Child's Tooth Problem An Emergency?

Posted on: 16 November 2018

Why does it seem like children always get sick or injured on the weekend? It's no different with dental problems. How do you really know what constitutes an emergency? Here's what you should know.

Many Dental Emergencies Involve An Injury

Children can be incredibly clumsy and awkward, especially when they are really little. They trip and fall a lot but haven't yet developed the skills to catch their fall. Older kids do a lot of roughhousing. They also get involved in activities like karate lessons, soccer, Little League, or other sports. All this rambunctiousness and activity can lead to accidents.

This can mean a tooth gets chipped or cracked, or it can mean a tooth gets completely knocked out. Most of the time, this can cause intense nerve pain, and the dentist should be called. If the child isn't in a lot of pain, you may decide to wait until Monday to bring them in. However, you should still call their pediatric dentist to get professional guidance.

Some Emergencies Involve Infections

No matter how diligent you are about bringing your child in for a check-up and cleaning every six months or make sure they floss and brush their teeth each day, cavities, toothaches, and infections can happen. Often, a child doesn't even know there is anything wrong with a tooth until they suddenly develop a bad toothache.

It doesn't take long for bacteria to multiply and infection to set in. The tooth may become abscessed. This means that the tooth develops pus around the root. Left untreated, this infection can spread to their jaw, neck, ears, throat, and face. The lymph nodes will be swollen and painful as the body tries to fight the infection.

The child may also have a fever and general malaise. If your child is displaying any of these symptoms, it is imperative they are treated immediately. This is because the infection can easily enter the bloodstream, causing septicemia, more commonly called "blood poisoning." This is a potentially fatal condition, so don't worry about calling on the weekend and bothering the dentist; they will want to see your child.

How Should You Handle The Situation?

If the child has injured the tooth and it is bleeding, use a clean cloth or gauze pads to stop the bleeding. Then, take a look to see exactly what you are dealing with. If they have knocked a tooth out and you still have it, put it back in place. Call the dentist and explain the situation to see what they want you to do next. If the child has a toothache, put a call into the dentist. While you are waiting for the callback and if the child is old enough, have them swish warm salt water around their mouth.

For more information, check out a website like https://apollodentalcenter.com/ today.