Dental Abscesses In Children: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Dentist Blog

You do all that you can to ensure your child's health and safety, but sometimes things happen that require immediate care. Dental abscesses are one emergency that can seemingly come out of nowhere. Below is a simple guide that will help you understand the causes of abscesses, know what symptoms to look for in your child, and what treatments may be needed in the event of an abscess.

What Causes Dental Abscesses?

A dental abscess occurs when bacteria gets inside of a tooth and causes an infection. To better understand how abscesses are caused, it's first important to understand how bacteria can get into your child's tooth.

The human mouth is full of bacteria; and while it usually doesn't cause any harm, bacteria that's able to make its way into the teeth can begin to wreak havoc. Bacteria can enter into teeth in a number of ways--though cavities are the most common and well known. Cavities occur when harmful bacteria attach themselves to your child's teeth and aren't properly removed. Over time, the affected teeth will decay and require fillings to protect the roots of the teeth. Cavities that are left untreated can quickly become a problem by allowing the bacteria to travel further into the tooth until infection can set into the root. This inward infection can soon make its way out in the form of an abscess, which is a pocket of pus.

What Symptoms Will Your Child Exhibit?

Medical problems can be more difficult to notice in children because they may not yet have the words to express what they're experiencing.

Fortunately, the symptoms of abscess in children and adults don't differ which makes diagnosis easier. The first sign of an abscess that you may notice is discoloration of the affected tooth. This discoloration can be seen even before pain is experienced and can be the most helpful symptom for parents. Pain and swelling are also very common as the abscess will be pressing on sensitive structures, including the gums, and this pain may worsen when talking or eating or when the infected tooth is brushed or otherwise agitated. 

How are Dental Abscesses in Children Treated?

If your child is suffering from dental pain or swelling, it's important to get them in to see a dentist, like Alaska Dentistry For Kids, immediately for timely treatment.

Antibiotics are the first treatment prescribed for an abscess. If the abscess is severe or the infection is compromising the tooth, the abscess may need to be immediately drained. Once the infection is under control and the abscess is gone, your child's dentist will be able to focus on the tooth. For some children, a root canal may be needed to save the tooth from total decay and for others, the decay may be too advanced and require extraction. In less severe cases, a simple filling may be enough to prevent further infection from occurring.


21 October 2015

Give Yourself the Gift of a Beautiful Smile

If you are someone who hesitates to open your mouth when you smile because you are embarrassed about your teeth, you should know that there are a number of cosmetic techniques that can give you a beautiful smile you will be proud to show to the world. As a cosmetic dentist, I have seen many clients transform their lives simply by fixing their smiles. This blog is meant to encourage people to find out about the possibilities in cosmetic dentistry so they can feel good about their smiles. A beautiful, confident smile really can change your life. I would love to show you how.