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Toothache

Definition

  • Pain or discomfort in a tooth
  • Not due to an injury

Causes

  • Main Cause: tooth decay
  • Food wedged between the teeth
  • Injured tooth

Tooth Abscess and Severe Pain

  • A tooth abscess can cause severe pain not controlled by non-prescription pain medicines.
  • Root canal therapy by an endodontist is needed to cure this problem.
  • In the meantime, if your child's dental office is closed, your doctor or dentist can bring the pain under control within hours by calling in a prescription for penicillin or amoxicillin.

See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one) If

 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.

Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 8/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011 3:30:55 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version: 2012
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

When To Call

Call Your Dentist or Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • Fever is present
  • Face is swollen
  • Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • You think your child needs to be seen urgently

Call Your Dentist Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If

  • You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
  • Toothache present over 24 hours
  • Brown cavity visible in the painful tooth
  • Red or yellow lump present at the gumline of the painful tooth

Call Your Dentist During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns

Parent Care at Home If

  • Mild toothache present less than 24 hours and you don't think your child needs to be seen

 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.

Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 8/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011 3:30:55 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version: 2012
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

Care Advice

Home Care Advice for Mild Toothache

  1. Reassurance: Most toothaches are temporary and due to a sensitive tooth. If the pain becomes worse or doesn't resolve in 24 hours, it could be due to a small cavity.
  2. Floss: Floss on either side of the painful tooth to remove any wedged food.
  3. Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  4. Local Cold: Apply a cold pack or ice in a wet washcloth to the painful jaw for 20 minutes.
  5. Expected Course: Most minor causes of toothache resolve in less than a day.
  6. Call Your Dentist If:
    • Toothache persists over 24 hours
    • The toothache becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms. 

To find a pediatrician, click here.

 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here 

Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 8/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011 3:30:55 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version: 2012
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

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