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Causes Of Toothache In Children

If anyone has ever experienced any dental problems, they would know that the symptom that signal towards any dental issue is toothache. It is a warning sign send out by the body. In the case of children, toothache will also be accompanied by other symptoms like a drooling mouth or general mouth pain. The drooling mouth is usually seen in the case of smaller children.

Difficulty in opening their mouth, having severe pain when they are chewing food can all be seen. It is important that when such symptoms are seen, to have a dental check up at the earliest. These dental consultations will help to diagnose the real cause of the tooth pain and also help take precautionary measures that will stop the problem from escalating.

Tooth decay

Decay in the tooth is seen in all irrespective of age. Infection in the teeth attacks the structure of the teeth and decay progresses. Food debris can get stuck between the teeth, if personal hygiene is lacking then it helps accelerate the decay. The food debris attracts bacteria to it. The sugar in the food is acted upon by the bacteria and releases acid. This acid can erode the protective coating of the tooth. Teeth sensitivity is experienced by some in this situation. Later if unchecked, the decay will spread to other areas of the tooth. It can damage the whole tooth and also spread to neighbouring teeth.

Loss of teeth, bad odour in the mouth, bleeding from the teeth are all symptoms that show up when there is tooth decay. Timely action is required in this situation. Decay can be corrected to some extent by practicing good personal hygiene, but sometimes additional help from a dentist will be needed.

Gum disease

This problem is seen quite commonly in children. The main reason for gum disease is plaque build-up in the teeth. In children, a mild form of this disease called gingivitis is seen. The gums become sensitive to touch, will be red, and swollen. Bleeding can be seen while brushing. The good news is that the severe form of gum disease is seldom seen in children. Lack of personal hygiene and plaque build-up is quite common in children. Mainly because they have not quite grasped the importance of brushing and flossing.

Proper techniques in brushing and flossing should be taught to children. If they do not brush, then what will be consequences, how their health is going to be affected – all these need to be discussed with the children. A complete dental examination accompanied by dental X rays will help dentists to get a clear picture. Later treatment plans are made according to the severity of the problem in children.

Tooth grinding

Bruxism is a medical term for grinding teeth or clenching the jaws. Mostly seen when children are sleeping and they do it unconsciously. This habit is more pronounced if the children are stressed. They usually outgrow this habit. But the pressure this habit places on dental health is enormous. Improper alignment of teeth is one of the main causes of this problem.

When they grind their teeth, the dental enamel can be worn out, sometimes even chipping the teeth due to the pressure of grinding. Mouth pain, earache and tooth pain is also experienced due to this grinding. If severe, they will also experience jaw problems as they clench and unclench their jaws. It is when the warning symptoms come up is this problem checked as children might not be aware they are grinding their teeth while sleeping.

Dentists usually check for worn out dental enamel, tooth sensitivity etc. Dentists will also check if they have any problems at school or if they are worried about anything. Mouthguards are prescribed by dentists to help ease the pressure from tooth grinding.

Tooth abscesses

Decay in the tooth will affect the structure and function of the tooth. Pus is seen at the base of the teeth in tooth abscesses. Pus formation is seen as the reaction of the body to fight against infection. If the pus is not able to drain out then it collects near the bottom of the teeth. An abscessed tooth will be red, swollen and painful. Swelling and pain can be reduced by applying a cold compress on the jaws. Chewing will also be a problem for the children as the infected tooth is not able to stand the pressure of chewing. If unchecked, this infection can be spread to other parts of the body. This requires advanced care from the dentist.

To ease the toothache, the pus that is formed at the base of the tooth is drained out. Antibiotics are prescribed to stop the infection, to save the teeth root canal treatment might also be needed. If the tooth cannot be saved then dentists will recommend removing the infected tooth.

Fractured/Chipped tooth

Dental injuries are caused due to accidents, sports accidents or falls. Children are quite active and these dental injuries are common. Chipped or fractured teeth are the outcome of these mishaps. Pain to the mouth and teeth, cuts or bruises in the cheeks, bleeding due to accidents are all symptoms. Treatment aims at reducing the pain and swelling in the oral region. Chipped or fractured tooth requires comprehensive treatment. If the teeth are chipped or fractured, chewing or movement puts more pressure on them.

The chipped tooth can be saved using a covering. If the fracture goes to the gum, then it becomes difficult to save the tooth. If it is milk teeth, then there is no issue as the permanent teeth will replace the milk teeth but otherwise other forms of treatment need to be planned.

Toothache though looked on as a simple issue that will be resolved after a few days of discomfort might not always be the case. It signals underlying dental concerns some of which are discussed above. It is important that the oral health of children is given due importance and they are checked by a dentist at least twice a year to help solve dental problems.

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