Signs of dental infection are not always obvious. Around 42% of children between ages 2 and 11 have dental cavity. Many children have no idea that they are experiencing tooth decay.
Parents who are looking for a children’s dentist in my area should read on to learn about the subtle signs of a tooth infection. Dr. Nicholas T. Bushey, one of the best pediatric dentists in Dallas, offers these top 8 signs that your child has a tooth infection.
1. A Dental Infection Leads to Discoloration
An infected tooth often changes color over time. Tooth decay can deteriorate the outer layer of enamel.
Look for dark pits on the surface of your child’s teeth or overall darker shades of enamel when compared to neighboring teeth. Checking right before your kid brushes his or her teeth is an ideal time to look for these signs of dental infections.
2. Swollen Gums
Another sign of tooth infection is swollen gums. Healthy gums should be pink. If your kiddo’s gums become dark red and swollen, that can be a sign that there is an underlying tooth infection.
Even if a tooth infection is not present, gum disease can cause dental problems. Our pediatric dentist can treat your child’s gum disease through a gentle dental cleaning.
3. Loss of Appetite
Has your child shown a sudden loss of appetite? Weight loss is one potential sign that your child is experiencing a tooth infection. This is an important symptom because very young children may not know how to communicate their dental problems.
4. Dental Sensitivity
Tooth decay degrades the outer layer of enamel that protects teeth. This can lead to heightened dental sensitivity.
Temperature sensitivity is one common sign of increased dental sensitivity. Your child may complain that cold food is uncomfortable to eat or that hot drinks cause discomfort. If your kid has prolonged bouts of dental sensitivity, give our office a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bushey.
5. Bad Breath
Occasional bouts of bad breath are perfectly normal. Persistent periods of halitosis (foul-smelling breath) can be a sign that there is an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. High levels of microbes can lead to gum disease or tooth decay.
Often, it takes a dental professional like our pediatric dentist to tell the difference between normal off-odors and symptoms that could be more serious.
6. Swollen Jaw or Neck
The teeth are intimately connected to a network of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles to connect to the jaws and neck. The presence of an infection in one or more teeth can lead to symptoms nearby.
If you notice that your child’s neck or jaw appears swollen or redder than normal, that could be a sign that your son or daughter needs a prompt checkup at our office. Oral infections are serious dental problems that need to be addressed urgently.
7. Oral Discomfort
One of the most common signs of dental infection is discomfort. The bundle of nerves inside the teeth is very sensitive. Any erosion of enamel or presence of bacteria in the tooth will lead to oral discomfort or even pain.
If your child says he or she is experiencing a toothache or if they frequently place their hand near their jaw, this should be taken as a sign of a potential tooth infection that should be treated promptly.
8. Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers are a nuisance. They can also be a sign of a more serious underlying dental problem. The sores can be a sign of excessive amounts of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to cavities.
If your child complains of persistent sores or ulcers in his or her mouth, consider scheduling a visit to our Dallas dental practice shortly. Dr. Bushey can quickly identify the cause of your child’s symptoms.
How Will Our Pediatric Dentist in Dallas Treat Cavities?
Infected teeth can lead to more serious health problems or dental emergencies. Once a cavity forms, it will continue to spread until it is treated.
Dr. Bushey will visually examine your child’s teeth. Advanced imaging technology may also be used to determine if harder to see cavities are present.
Treating cavities is a straightforward process. First, your child’s comfort will be attended to. Most cavity treatments do not require the use of local anesthesia but others might.
Dr. Bushey then uses a special tool to gently remove tooth decay. Once the decayed enamel is fully removed, the tooth will be cleaned. Then, Dr. Bushey will artfully place tooth-colored fillings to restore the lost tooth structure.
If you have questions or concerns about tooth decay, ask a member of our team about dental sealants and other preventative treatments for cavities. One of the best ways to prevent tooth infections is by scheduling twice-a-year visits to our Dallas dental practice.
Looking for a Children’s Dentist in Your Area?
A dental infection can lead to serious oral health problems or even a dental emergency. If your child exhibits any of the symptoms listed in this article, it may be time to schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist in Dallas TX.
Your trusted children’s dentist, Dr. Bushey, is committed to providing the highest quality care for infants, children, and teens. If you are looking for a dental home for your child, look no further.
Tooth decay is easy and affordable to treat. To schedule your next visit to see your pediatric dentist Dallas, contact our office online today.