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Tooth Infections

A tooth infection is a dental condition that occurs when the dental pulp, including the nerves of a tooth, have become infected. Infections are commonly the result of dental cavities that have gone untreated and allowed to deepen and become worse. If a tooth infection is left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems as the infection spreads through the mouth and eventually your child’s entire body. Untreated tooth infections are especially dangerous for kids, as their immune systems aren’t yet fully developed.

Signs and Symptoms of a Tooth Infection

Below are a few common signs that your child may have a tooth infection:

  • If your child is complaining of a continuous sharp or throbbing pain in a tooth
  • Worsening pain when chewing food or putting pressure on the tooth
  • Red, swollen gum tissue around the site of the infected tooth
  • Bad breath or a bitter taste in your child’s mouth
  • Swelling in your child’s jaw or neck
  • Fever

If your child is experiencing any combination of the above symptoms, it is imperative to make an emergency appointment at Little Smiles of Delaware. The sooner we can catch and treat a tooth infection, the better the outcome.

Tooth Infection Treatment

If an infection occurs in one of your child’s baby teeth, we will most likely extract the tooth. Depending on the location of the extracted tooth, a space maintainer may be used to save the space until the permanent tooth grows in. Without the help of a space maintainer, the other teeth in the mouth may shift around the empty space, causing problems when the adult tooth begins to emerge.

If a permanent tooth has an infection, we will perform root canal therapy, during which the root canals and pulp chamber will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Whenever a permanent tooth is involved, we prefer to do all we can to save the tooth. Dr. Ben may also add antibiotics to your child’s treatment plan and these should be taken as instructed by Dr. Ben.

Tooth infections can be painful and scary, but luckily they are easily preventable. The best way to avoid tooth infections is to help your child practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting Little Smiles of Delaware every six months for a dental cleaning and an exam.

To make your child’s appointment, please contact our Delaware, Ohio pediatric dental office today.