Abscesses in Kids

Is your child complaining of pain or experiencing swelling or pus around one of their teeth? These could be the signs of an abscess and should not be taken lightly. Abscesses are bacterial infections that if not treated in time or correctly, can cause additional harm. Mouthhealthy.org explains the signs, symptoms and appropriate treatment for abscesses in the following article.

 An abscessed tooth is an infection caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease or a cracked tooth. These problems can let bacteria enter the pulp (the soft tissue of a tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) and can lead to pulp death. When pus builds up at the root tip in the jaw bone, it forms a pus-pocket called an abscess. If the abscess is not treated, it can lead to a serious infection in the jaw bone, teeth and surrounding tissues.

Symptoms of an abscess include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • redness in the gums
  • bad taste in the mouth
  • fever

An abscessed tooth can be treated with various treatments, depending on the severity of the infection. Here are some of the treatment methods a dentist may consider:

  • antibiotics, to destroy the bacteria causing the infection
  • drainage of the infection
  • cleaning the space between the tooth and the gum if the cause is from gum disease
  • root canal treatment if the abscess is caused by decay or a cracked tooth

Following good oral hygiene practices and routine dental exams will significantly reduce your risk of developing a tooth abscess. If your teeth experience trauma (become loosened or chipped), see your dentist as soon as possible.

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms above, please call us to have them scheduled for an appointment right away.


Adapted from: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/abscess

Medplex Pediatric Dentistry serves as a top-rated pediatric dentist for Alabaster, Birmingham, Hoover, Helena, and Pelham.