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Is My Child's Toothache Considered a Dental Emergency?

Is My Child's Toothache Considered a Dental Emergency?

You never want your child to be in pain. A toothache can feel particularly challenging because you can’t necessarily see what’s going on, and your ability to treat the issue directly is pretty limited. That doesn’t mean you need to panic, though. 

While Irene Zaki, DDS, and our team specialize in emergency dentistry, a toothache isn’t always an indicator of a dire situation. However, it warrants a trip to see us at Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry in Riverside, California. When you visit our office, we can figure out what’s causing your child’s tooth pain and soothe it. 

So, should you seek immediate care, or can your child wait until we can get them in for our next routine appointment? Let’s take a closer look. 

When a toothache is a dental emergency

Toothaches are common in kids. One in four children up to age 5 deals with this issue, and half of all kids get a toothache by the time they turn 9. 

Fortunately, a toothache only constitutes a dental emergency when it’s extremely severe. If your child says their tooth feels sore or achy, it’s okay to wait until we can get you in for a regular appointment. 

If, however, they have extreme pain, you should seek out emergency dental care. That’s doubly true if they have:

Most of the time, though, the toothache is unpleasant for the child but doesn’t immediately threaten their oral or overall health. To help relieve their pain and prevent the tooth problem from growing, call our office, and we can get them in to see Dr. Zaki as soon as possible. 

Managing discomfort until their appointment

While a toothache usually isn’t a dental emergency, you don’t want to see your child suffer as you wait for dental care. 

The American Dental Association Science & Research Institute (ADASRI) released a new guideline in August 2023 recommending acetaminophen (like TYLENOL®) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like Advil®) to help with tooth pain in kids under 12. 

That said, be sure they’re swallowing the proper dose for their age. You should never put Advil directly on the tooth because it can harm the gum tissue. 

A cold compress can also help to ease their discomfort. 

Once you get to our office, Dr. Zaki determines what’s causing the toothache, whether that’s decay in the tooth or a problem with the surrounding gums. With proper treatment, we can relieve your child’s pain and protect their oral health. 

If your child has a toothache, don’t wait to call Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry or request an appointment online. And if you think it’s an emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us for emergency dental care.

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