Toothache in a child
Date of publication: 20 Dec 2021
As a rule, toothache in children occurs completely unexpectedly. More often it happens at nights. The child complains of aching or sharp pain, becomes moody, whiny. The driving forces behind painful sensations can be completely different.
On average, baby teeth begin to erupt by the age of six months. This process lasts up to 2.5-3 years. Milk teeth are affected by caries, they decay and hurt. As in adults, caries, pulpitis and periodontitis generate toothache in children.
Children can also misrepresent their feelings. For example, a child who has painful sensations in his\her head, ear or jaw may feel that he or she has a toothache. This is a reflected pain. The reflected pain is common in the mouth and face. With a reflected toothache, it is much more difficult to pinpoint its exact location than with an actual toothache.
Also, a child may experience painful sensations in the mouth, induced by not an affected tooth.
What diseases induce toothache and pain in the mouth in a child:
It should be said that primary teeth have some anatomical features. Firstly, children's teeth have roots (often longer than the roots of permanent teeth) and nerves. Secondly, the main part of the crown of a primary tooth takes the pulp. Since the pulp horn comes too close to the areas in contact with the adjacent tooth of its row, then, even medium cavities very quickly reach the pulp resulting in pulpitis. Sensation of pain in children usually manifests itself only in cases of already advanced pulpitis.
The process of destruction of the hard tissues of a tooth is called caries. Children teeth are prone to the initial development of caries. This creates many problems both in childhood and throughout later life.
With tooth cavities, a child may feel pain in a tooth. This happens with the direct action of an irritant, for example, cold or hot water, food. If the pulp becomes inflamed, then the pain in the tooth appears paroxysmal, and not only with irritants (during meals), but at any time, including night time. In addition, the pain can be constant and aching.
Dental caries can be induced as by bacteria in the oral cavity, as by other factors. Nutrition is of great importance. Lack of proteins, vitamins, mineral salts, fluoride and various microelements in the body contributes to the development of tooth cavities.
Sugar and other microbially degraded carbohydrates also contribute to tooth decay. A serious role is played by heredity, the condition of the dentition during the laying, development and eruption of teeth.
As a rule, the 6th teeth are the first of the permanent teeth to suffer, because they erupt before others (the enamel fails to get saturated with calcium and fluoride from saliva) besides, these teeth are poorly cleanable.
Mouth pain in children under one year old is often triggered by an oral thrush - a yeast infection. A child may feel great and not have any painful symptoms until eating: after a few suction tries, the child spits out a pacifier or a breast nipple with a cry. While examining the oral cavity, it turns out that it is red with white lesions on the tongue and the inner surface of the cheeks.
The lesions may resemble milk drops remaining in the mouth after feeding. To make sure, gently touch the white spots with your finger or the handle of a spoon. If it is an oral thrush, then the lesions will remain in place. If a child has oral thrush in the mouth, thrush can appear in the anal area and on the genitals, causing a candidal diaper rash. A breast of a nursing mother, namely the nipples, can also become infected.
Mouth pain in older children can be induced by herpes stomatitis. In case of herpes infection, in addition to pain in the mouth, a child may feel unjustified fatigue, and temperature rises are not excluded. The child's mouth can get a very painful sensitivity, a child will refuse even to drink, and constantly spit out because he\she is not able to swallow even saliva. In the case of herpes stomatitis, the lips, tongue, gums, and the entire inner surface of the mouth become covered with tiny blisters and sores. The lymph nodes in the neck tend to enlarge.
This condition is very painful and there is no effective treatment for it, however, it goes away on its own. The peak of painful sensations can continue for several days. The sores that form in the place of the blisters and cover the mucous membrane of the mouth, go away within 10 days on average.
A single mouth ulcer, sometimes 2-3 ulcers, is the most common cause of mouth pain in older children. An ulcer is a lesion in the mucous membrane in the form of a white or yellowish circle around a gray center. This area is getting very painful. Unlike herpes stomatitis, with canker sores a child has only 1-2 ulcers and is in a normal general condition. The lymph nodes in the neck may also be slightly enlarged.
Such ulcers can occur as a result minor injury to the oral mucosa: sharp bone in food, cheek biting, etc. all this can injure the mucous membrane and lead to the formation of the mouth ulcers. Such sores in the mouth usually go away within five days.
However, there is no definite cause behind mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers are more common in children exposed to stress or illness. They are less likely to occur if you brush your teeth regularly and maintain overall health. Multiple chronic ulcers can sometimes be a sign of illness, so one should consult the doctor.
Taking certain medications
Mouth pain can also be a side effect of certain medications, especially antibiotics. If a child gets mouth inflammation while taking a drug, consult the doctor.
Prevention of dental diseases in children
It is also worth mentioning the preventive measures that will save your child from such trouble as a toothache.
1. Take your child for the dentist preventive examinations and professional dental cleaning procedures. It is necessary to visit the dentist at least 3 times a year
2. Examine your child's teeth regularly. What should be alarming: darkening of the enamel, unusual color of the gums, significant accumulations of plaque.
3. Always be attentive to your child's diet. Try to minimize the amount of sweets and flour foods. Make sure you have more fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet, do not forget about vitamin supplements.
4. Teach your child to take regular care of the oral cavity. Brush your teeth twice a day- in the morning and before bed.
5. If you notice teeth grinding in your child, be sure to see the doctor. If this disease is not treated at an early stage, it can become severe. This threatens the abrasion of the enamel, the development of cavities and consecutive complications.
If a child complains of a toothache, this should be taken very seriously and given the utmost attention. Neglecting the situation and putting it off until "later" can quickly lead to aggravation and very serious consequences.
At the slightest suspicion of any illness, the child must be taken to an appointment with a specialist. In the event a toothache goes away on its own, this does not mean that everything is in order. This may mean that the disease has become chronic and a permanent focus of infection has appeared in the child's mouth. Therefore, do not delay your visit to the doctor.
Please note, important information!
Self-medication can cause irreparable harm to your health!
If you are not a medical professional:
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