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Dental cavities start on the surface layers and eventually progress towards the nerve of the tooth. Once the bacteria in a cavity extends from the tooth to the bone around, it will eventually lead to bone damage and infection of the surrounding gums. Dental infections like these not only happen in adult teeth but also baby teeth! Keep in mind that your child too can suffer from a dental infection, which is not only painful but also affects surrounding tissues and future adult teeth!

Signs of a Dental Infection
  • A dental infection can occur after a tooth injury or from a deep dental cavity
  • Once the bacteria spread from the tooth to surrounding bone and gums, it will present as a dental abscess (a red pimple-like swelling)
  • On the X-ray, the dentist will be able to see bone destruction
  • The dental abscess (pimple) can eventually grow in size and cause facial swelling, or even further spreading to other areas of the face or throat
  • This abscess is pus-filled, and sometimes pus can be seen when draining
  • Symptoms include a painful tooth, redness, and swelling of the face, fever, and in the mouth, a pimple-like swelling can be seen on the gum of the tooth in question
Treatment for a Dental Infection
  • If you notice signs of dental infections in your child’s mouth, immediately take them in to see their dentist
  • A visual exam and an x-ray can confirm the presence of a dental infection
  • Antibiotics are sometimes required prior to treatment, in order to reduce swelling and spread of the infection
  • Infected baby teeth often require extraction
  • Untreated dental infections in baby teeth can lead to extensive damage to surrounding tissues and future adult teeth – sometimes even leading to life-threatening consequences
Home Management
  • Dental cavities should be prevented with proper hygiene and dietary habits
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleanings will allow early detection of dental caries
  • Have your child’s dental cavities treated as soon as possible to prevent progression into infections
  • Dental pain can be managed with over-the-counter analgesics (Tylenol, Advil)
  • While your child is on antibiotics for a dental infection awaiting treatment; maintain proper hygiene in the area, use analgesics for pain, monitor for worsening of the swelling

Have One of Our Pediatric Dentists Take Care of Your Child Today. No Referral Necessary.