Toothache is one of the most common sources of pain for young children. Understanding the primary causes of toothache can help you reduce pain and identify potential pediatric dental issues at their earliest development. Our experienced pediatric dentistry team works with children daily to address their toothache symptoms. Let’s explore some of the most common causes of toothache and explain a few options to address and treat your child’s oral health issue.

Common Toothache Causes for Children

Tooth Eruption

One of the most common causes of toothache in children is the eruption of new teeth. Baby teeth develop at around nine months, with the potential for teething-related toothache pain. Eruption of adult teeth begins around age 6. You can help children experiencing the pain of tooth eruption by massaging their gums and rinsing the gums with warm salt water to reduce inflammation.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay begins to cause pain when the decay reaches the pulp chamber containing your child’s tooth nerves and blood vessels. This type of pain becomes more noticeable at night as the throbbing pain of decay worsens with lying down. At this stage, your child may develop pain that’s bad enough to wake them up.

While over-the-counter pain relief medication may provide some comfort, you will need to see a pediatric dentist urgently to respond to the decay and fill your child’s cavity.

Tooth or Gum Injuries

In toddlers learning to walk, tooth and gum injuries are common. Due to the fragility of their developing bone and gum tissue, relatively minor knocks can cause painful injuries. Check your child’s lips and gums for obvious cuts or dried blood. Usually, when there’s a tooth injury, the inside of the lip will show damage.

You may not see obvious signs of damage to interior tooth pulp or gum tissue, so if pain persists after a fall, visit a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

Improper Brushing

Children can be slightly too aggressive when brushing or may experience pain using a toothbrush with rigid bristles. This increase in pressure may cause damage to the enamel of the teeth and the surrounding tooth structure, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Check your child’s brush and replace brushes with frayed or matted bristles that can damage gum tissue.

Our team here at Glow Pediatric Dentistry is always happy to work with children and parents to teach safe, healthy brushing techniques for kids.

Tooth Grinding

The data shows that 30% of children grind their teeth. In young children, teeth grinding can occur due to misaligned teeth or as a result of trying to relieve earache pain by clenching their jaw. In older children, teeth grinding is primarily the result of stress. Your pediatric dentist may work with your orthodontic team in recommending mouthguards during sleep to minimize the pain and potential damage associated with teeth grinding.

When is a Toothache an Emergency?

The following toothache-related pain symptoms are considered dental emergencies and require a call to your local pediatric dentist as soon as possible:

Possible Abscess

A possible abscess is associated with a fever, a bad taste in the mouth, and significant pain when chewing. If your child experiences this combination of symptoms, call your dentist and try to book a same-day appointment for diagnosis.

Head Injuries

Toothaches due to a head injury require professional medical care beyond initial first aid. Head injury-associated toothache could be the result of nerve damage or radiating pain in other areas of the jaw, possibly indicating a broken bone.

Clear Physical Damage

Toothache along with clear physical damage to the tooth structure, such as a chipped or cracked tooth, requires further analysis through kids’ dental X-rays and physical exams. The sooner you see your pediatric dentist after tooth damage, the better the chance they can save the remaining structure of your child’s tooth with treatment.

Glow Pediatric Dentistry Are Toothache Treatment Leaders

Glow Pediatric Dentistry’s care team includes front office staff, hygienists, dental assistants, and pediatric dentists with experience in toothache pain management and treatment. We specialize and train in resolving toothache pain and building tailored treatment plans for individual patients to ensure long-term comfort and exceptional oral health.

With conveniently located pediatric dental offices in RichmondLangley, and Abbotsford, Glow Pediatric Dentistry is your local home for children’s dental care. Call your local clinic today to request an upcoming appointment!