Caring for children who are teething
Toothache in children is most often caused by teething, which usually occurs between the ages of four and seven months. Symptoms such as fever, skin rash, diarrhea, and bruising are not uncommon when teething. Contact a pediatrician if symptoms of persistence are severe or recur.
Toothache pain can often be relieved by gently rubbing the gums with a clean finger, the back of a baby spoon, or a damp gauze pad. Teeth or nipples may also be helpful in relieving pain.
Do not use benzocaine-containing oral disinfectant gels for children under two years of age unless prescribed by a pediatrician. Methemoglobinemia is a lack of oxygen in the blood that can be caused by benzocaine, which can be fatal for young children.
After diagnosing the causes of severe toothache with the help of dental examination and imaging, the following methods can be used to relieve pain.
Taking over-the-counter medications
If toothache starts suddenly for no apparent reason and does not go away within an hour or more, consider taking painkillers before going to the dentist. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Alio) or aspirin are probably the best medications for toothache with a lot of inflammation – which is more common with gingivitis or mild trauma to the mouth. Painkillers may be suitable for teeth that do not have much swelling, such as nerve irritation or tooth decay. The most common over-the-counter pain reliever is acetaminophen (Tylenol, Paracetamol).
Do not apply aspirin or painkillers directly to the gums as they may burn or irritate the gum tissue. Also, if you are allergic to the substances in these drugs, this may cause allergic reactions.
Acetaminophen, rather than aspirin or ibuprofen, is a better option for infants and children with toothache.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers should always be short-term options for pain control. Taking too much of these drugs at the same time or taking them for long periods of time can increase the risk of stomach, kidney and liver problems. See a doctor as soon as possible before the problem gets worse and the pain gets worse.
Apply benzocaine gels, creams, or ointments, a mild anesthetic that causes local anesthesia, to the affected area. Apply these products directly to the sore tooth and surrounding gum tissue to provide temporary relief – usually for several hours. Although the drug is absorbed through the tissue, try not to swallow large amounts as it can cause sore throat and nausea. Breathing through the mouth for a few minutes helps reduce the feeling of the need to swallow.
Be very careful when using products containing benzocaine, as this substance can cause a rare complication called methemoglobin, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Do not use benzocaine for children under 2 years of age without medical supervision.
Over-the-counter products containing benzocaine should only be taken for a short time before seeing a dentist.
Use ice packs
If the toothache is due to oral-to-tooth trauma, identify the area where the most pain and inflammation is felt and apply an ice pack to the outside of the lip. Using ice packs helps reduce swelling because it reduces blood flow by narrowing blood vessels. It will also numb the pain for a while. Cold compresses can be made with ice cubes, crushed ice, frozen gel packs or small bags of vegetables.
Always wrap a frozen item in a thin layer of cloth before placing it on the skin – this will prevent skin irritation and ice burns.
Apply a cold compress for about 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day until the inflammation / toothache subsides or goes away.
Severe trauma to the mouth and teeth should be examined by a dental professional, so make an appointment as soon as possible – Be sure to tell your dentist that you have an emergency so you can see a doctor as soon as possible.
Perhaps the easiest and cheapest way to deal with some types of toothache is to rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water. Circulating water in and around the painful area can disinfect that area and relieve pain. It also helps to remove any food debris that gets stuck between the teeth and causes tooth decay. Salt water removes some of the fluid from the gums that causes it to swell.