An abscess is a way that the body tries to heal from an infection. Abscesses are likely to form after bacteria, fungi, or other germs enter the body, which result in an infection. Although abscesses are common on the skin caused by open wounds or cuts, they can even develop in a tooth. Age is not a limiting factor for abscess formation. If the environment is right for an abscess to form it can happen. This means that even yes, your two-year old could have a tooth abscess.

Common Symptoms:

An abscessed tooth will typically have a pocket of pus in the tissues surrounding it. When looking at the tooth, the abscess can cause it to appear red and the gums to be swollen. Usually, pain is experienced and the area may “throb” with a tooth abscess. Chewing may even be painful and unpleasant as well. Fevers are also common with tooth abscesses in children.

Abscess in your child?

If you believe that your child may have a tooth abscess present and presents any symptoms, do not ignore this! If an abscess is left untreated, the infection can potentially spread to other areas of the body. In more extreme cases, leaving an abscess untreated can result in life-threatening conditions.

Therefore, if you notice any symptoms of a tooth abscess or physically see the abscess you should call your pediatric dentist without any hesitation. Typically, the dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection and should rid of the abscess. In some cases, dependent on the dentist’s digression a baby tooth may need to be extracted if problems persist. Our Durham, NC dental friends often state the importance of seeing a medical professional before self diagnosing your children.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Abscess

What are the most common symptoms of tooth abscess?
The most common symptoms of tooth abscess include throbbing, severe headaches, hot and cold temperature sensitivity, fever, face or cheek swelling, swollen lymph nodes, and challenges with swallowing or breathing.

What causes tooth abscess?
Tooth abscess is the result of bacteria taking over the dental pulp, which is the innermost part of the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

What are the risk factors of tooth abscess?
If your child doesn’t take proper care of their teeth by brushing and flossing daily, frequently eats foods and drinks with a lot of sugar, and/or has dry mouth, they may be at a higher risk for tooth abscess.

Will tooth abscess go away on its own?
Unlike some other conditions, tooth abscess will not disappear on its own. It requires the immediate treatment of a pediatric dentist.

How is tooth abscess diagnosed?
To diagnose tooth abscess, a pediatric dentist will likely tap on your child’s teeth to see it they are sensitive to pressure and/or perform an imaging test like a CT scan or x-ray.

What is involved in treating tooth abscess?
The goal of treating tooth abscess is getting rid of the infection. To meet this goal, a pediatric dentist may open up and drain the abscess, perform a root canal, pull the affected tooth, or prescribe antibiotics.

How can tooth abscess be prevented?
The easiest way for your child to prevent tooth abscess is to brush their teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Your child should also replace their toothbrush every few months, eat healthy foods and limit their sugar intake, and come to our office every six months or so for a routine exam and cleaning.

Contact Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offers emergency appointments for our patients. If you believe that your child display symptoms of a tooth abscess or it appears that there is a physical tooth abscess present, please call our office immediately. We would like to have your child come in as soon as possible so that we can assess the situation and determine what treatment will be needed.

Please call our office at 703-348-2813 to schedule your appointment with us.