Toothache, Reasons and Remedies

Taming the Toothache

Mom, you know it always breaks your heart when your child is in pain. And for those of you who have had toothaches, you know just how painful they can be. When your child has a toothache, do not wait to take action. That is why it is SO important for you to start a good oral health regime with your kids when they are very young. No one wants to deal with their seven-year-old getting two fillings, a baby crown, and a tooth extraction in one dental visit! We can help you take preventative steps today.

You may ask, “what is the best remedy for consuming lots of sugar but keeping healthy teeth during the holiday season?” The best answer is good oral hygiene. Brush those teeth often, floss daily, and don’t let your little sweets monsters eat too much sugar. We are in the thick of the holidays, and there are pies and cookies everywhere you go. Maybe consider sanitarily carrying toothbrushes and floss in your purse for a midday tooth cleaning.

Tooth Trouble | What’s Causing the Toothache?

Some toothaches can be easily taken care of in the comfort of your own home, while others absolutely require a dental checkup. Of course, there are a multitude of reasons why your child may have a toothache. The list goes on and on.

  • Swollen gums
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Mouth sores (e.g. canker sores)
  • Poor diet (too many sugary sweets)
  • Loose teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Cavities
  • Incoming teeth
  • Getting bumped in the face

How To Deal With Swollen Gums

If your child’s gums are swollen, it is likely due to inflammation. The most common cause of gum inflammation is plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar, which can lead to gum disease.

To reduce swollen gums and inflammation:

  • Brush their teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Be sure to brush along the gum line and to use gentle circular motions.
  • Use an electric toothbrush if you find it easier for your child to control.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth and under the gum line.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce plaque and bacteria.

If home care measures do not improve your child’s swollen gums, you may need to see your dentist. Your dentist can determine if there is gum disease and develop a treatment plan accordingly. It may be necessary to inject antibiotics or other medicine into the gumline.

How To Deal With Tooth Pain from Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies can cause inflammation and pressure in the sinuses, which is often felt as pain in the teeth. This is called “referred pain.” The best way to deal with tooth pain from seasonal allergies is to treat the underlying allergy.

Here are some tips:

  • Use an over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal spray to help with sneezing, runny nose, and congestion.
  • Use a neti pot or saline nasal spray to rinse pollen and other irritants from the sinuses.
  • Avoid being outdoors when pollen counts are high.
  • If you know your child is allergic to a certain type of plant, avoid contact with it as much as possible.
  • Keep the windows closed in your home and car to prevent pollen from coming inside.
  • Vacuum regularly to remove pollen and other allergens from your home.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and help relieve congestion.

How To Deal With Toothaches from a Canker Sore

Canker sores are small, painful ulcers that can form on the tongue, gums, or inside of the cheek. They are usually round or oval with a red border. Canker sores are not contagious, but their exact cause is unknown.

There are a few things you can do to help ease the pain of a canker sore:

  • Rinse your child’s mouth with a saltwater solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and rinse your mouth for 30 seconds. Do this 3-4 times a day.
  • Avoid spicy, acidic, or salty foods. These foods can irritate canker sores and make the pain worse.
  • Apply a topical numbing agent. You can find these over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.

How To Deal With Tooth Pain From Eating Sugar

a little girl outside with a toothache

When your kids eat sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth convert the sugar into acid. This acid then attacks the teeth, causing tooth decay. Tooth decay is the main cause of toothaches. The best way to deal with tooth pain from eating sugar is to avoid sugary foods and drinks altogether.

If they do eat sugary foods, be sure to brush their teeth afterward. This will help remove the acid from the teeth and reduce their risk of tooth decay.

You can also rinse their mouth with water after eating sugary foods. This will help neutralize the acid in their mouth and prevent it from attacking the teeth.

How To Deal With Toothaches From Loose Teeth, Cracked, or Broken Teeth

Loose teeth can be caused by a variety of things, including gum disease, tooth decay, injury, or even brushing too hard. The best way to deal with tooth pain from loose teeth is to have your child see their dentist.

The dentist will be able to determine the cause of the loose tooth and develop a treatment plan accordingly. In some cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.

If your child has a cracked or broken tooth, it’s important to see their dentist right away. In some cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.

If you are dealing with a child who is in pain from a loose tooth, there are a few things you can do to help ease their discomfort:

  • Use over-the-counter pain medication. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth. This can help numb the area and reduce swelling.
  • Give your child soft foods to eat. Avoid hard or chewy foods that could irritating the gums or cause more pain.
  • The best way to prevent toothaches from loose teeth is to practice good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush and floss your child’s teeth daily, and have them see their dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

For causes such as seasonal allergies, incoming teeth, mouth sores, or food lodged between teeth — try flossing and brushing first, also prepare some warm salt water for your child to rinse their mouth out. If the pain continues, give your child some Tylenol or Advil to keep the ache at bay. Not helping?

Toothache Tip:

Other at-home remedies include: applying clove oil to the base of the aching tooth with a cotton ball, place a cold compress against your child’s cheek (the inflamed side of the face), have your young one suck on a frozen spoon or fruit popsicle, and some people even crush a clove of garlic and apply it to the area in pain. Feel free to call your pediatric dentist for guidance on what to do.

The most common causes of toothaches are cavities and rotting teeth, most likely caused by eating too many sugary and processed foods or from lack of proper oral hygiene – for many, it is even a mixture of both! Look inside of your child’s mouth and check for holes or brown spots, often found on the biting surfaces of the teeth and between touching surfaces. If you find anything, be sure to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist at Snodgrass-King. We will be able to diagnose the issue quickly for faster relief.

Please do not ignore your child’s or your own oral pain. While some toothaches may go away in a short period of time, others can lead to losing teeth. Yikes! If a good flossing, some Tylenol, and a day of rest don’t alleviate the ache, please request an appointment with us at Snodgrass-King. Pay attention to good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits this holiday season.