What to do if your child has a severe toothache
A severe toothache is a dental problem with multiple potential underlying causes. Extreme decay that’s causing tooth damage and an infection can cause throbbing tooth pain, or an injury may be contributing to your child’s discomfort.
The steps you take for treating your child’s severe toothache depend on the suspected cause of their dental pain. If you think they may have an infection or debris that’s causing their toothache, combine a cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt and have them swish it around their mouth for 30 seconds. Saltwater will kill any bacteria and promote faster healing. Gently floss around the achy tooth to remove food particles that might be causing your child’s pain. Examine your child’s tooth to see if it’s broken or cracked; tooth damage is an obvious cause of their discomfort. Have them apply a cold compress to the site of their painful tooth to reduce swelling and pain. You can also give your child pain medication, like ibuprofen, to make them more comfortable.
When to seek dental treatment for a severe toothache
If your child's toothache lasts more than 24 hours or is causing uncontrollable pain, you need to seek dental treatment. While a toothache isn't always a dental emergency, untreated decay or tooth damage can quickly lead to an infection that can spread to their other teeth. Treating the toothache increases your chances of saving the tooth and contains any infection or decay.
When in doubt, call 911 immediately
In a pediatric emergency, it's essential to act quickly and seek medical help immediately. When faced with a situation where a child's health or life may be at risk, it's better to err on the side of caution and call 911 right away. Delaying treatment can worsen the condition and make it more difficult to save the child.
Severe Toothache, Queens & Brooklyn, New York
The steps you take for treating your child’s severe toothache depend on the suspected cause of their dental pain.