Think Your Child's Abscessed Tooth Can Wait Until Monday? Think Again!

26 October 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Every parent knows that too many sugary drinks can cause problems for their child's teeth. But during the summer it gets a little harder to monitor what your kids are drinking as they get involved with sports and also enjoy time playing with their friends during the end of year school holidays. In 2014 in Victoria alone, over 1,000 children had teeth removed because of decay. One sign of decay is an abscess around the infected tooth, so it is important you know what to do when your child wakes up on a Saturday morning clutching their face in pain.

How To Diagnose An Abscessed Tooth

When your child wanders up to you on a Saturday morning complaining of a sore tooth, it is not uncommon for any parent to want to take a wait-and-see approach rather than deal with a trip to the emergency dentist on the weekend. However, by making yourself knowledgeable about the symptoms of an abscessed tooth, you can make a better decision about when to wait and when not to.

A toothache normally presents itself as pain, gum swelling, and/or swelling and redness on the same side of the face as the infection. However, if these symptoms are accompanied by a fever, nausea or vomiting, or excessive swelling that restricts breathing, there is a possibility of an abscess being present. A dentist is the trained professional who can confirm this for you.

Why Can't It Wait Until Monday?

The biggest problem about leaving an abscessed tooth untreated is what happens if the infection spreads away from the tooth and enters the rest of your child's system. A child's immune system begins to strengthen from the day they are born, but some experts say it is not fully developed until they reach the end of puberty at 12 years old.

An immune system that is not fully developed yet means your child's body will struggle to keep the infection at bay. One problem that could occur is if the poison within the abscess gets into the blood stream of your child. The toxins could then be carried throughout the body, which is known as blood poisoning or sepsis. Another common issue is if the infection moves through the mouth and into the sinus cavity. This can cause inflammation behind both the eyes and the nose, which is further discomfort.

If you see more than two symptoms present in your child while they are clutching their face, you must visit an emergency dentist, such as those at Runcorn Dental, to get the problem looked at. They can provide fast relief for your child by reducing the pressure of the abscess and also providing a prescription for antibiotics if required to prevent the infection from spreading. The pain relief for your child alone is enough to make sure you'll be reaching for your car keys a lot sooner than Monday.