A toothache often happens after an injury to the tooth. The most common form of injury to a tooth is from a cavity. This is a hole in a tooth.
A cavity is often the result of poor dental hygiene. Sugar and starch in foods allow bacteria in the mouth to damage the teeth. The bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and starch and make an acid that can eat through the teeth. This leads to tooth decay.
Each child may feel symptoms a bit differently. But below are the most common symptoms of a toothache:
Your child’s healthcare provider can often diagnose a toothache with a complete health history and exam of your child. He or she will likely refer your child to a dentist for evaluation and care.
At the dentist, your child may have X-rays done. An X-ray makes images of internal tissues, bones, and teeth. The dentist may also check for cavities using a device called a transilluminator. It uses no radiation.
The symptoms of a toothache may seem like other health or dental problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider or dentist for a diagnosis.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment may include:
If the infection is severe, your child may be treated in a hospital. He or she may need antibiotics through an IV (intravenous) tube.
Good oral habits can prevent cavities, the leading reason for a toothache. Make sure your child:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: