5 Signs Your Child May Have an Infected Tooth

Did you know that more than half of children in the US between 6 and 8 have at least one cavity? Untreated cavities lead to painful tooth infections and eventually problems with speaking and eating.

Children can’t always clearly express how they’re feeling, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of an infected tooth in a child before it becomes severe.

Keep reading to learn about five signs of an infected tooth you don’t want to ignore!

1. Gum Swelling

One significant sign of a tooth infection is swelling in the gums that are near the infected tooth. The appearance of the gum swelling might even resemble a pimple. 

Children can’t always verbalize that this swelling is present, so you’ll need to look for signs that include pain with brushing and eating as well as bleeding or pus around the infected tooth area.

2. Tooth Pain and Sensitivity

Pain and significant sensitivity are typically the first signs of an infected tooth. You’ll usually notice symptoms like sensitivity to hot or cold foods and pain with chewing.

You also might notice a decrease in appetite, complaints of nausea, or noticeable weight loss if the infection has been going on for a longer time.

It’s also important to know that even if your child’s tooth pain goes away, it doesn’t mean that the infection is gone. Usually, this indicates that part of the tooth root has died, so they don’t feel the pain as severely.

3. Bad Breath

Another telltale symptom of a tooth infection is bad breath. Children will usually complain they have a bad taste in their mouth or say that food tastes differently.

Bad breath that’s a one-time issue doesn’t necessarily mean your child has a tooth infection, but if it shows up repeatedly along with other symptoms, then it’s time to see the dentist.

4. Tooth Discoloration

Tooth infections often lead to a color change in the affected tooth. You may notice the tooth turning a darker color than the surrounding teeth, and usually, it will start to turn black.

Tooth discoloration is often accompanied by a fever and swollen lymph nodes and is the easiest way to spot an infection early on.

5. Facial Swelling

Severe tooth infections often result in facial swelling around the infected tooth. If the infection spreads, the swelling can extend to the lower jaw and even the neck. 

Severe swelling is a pediatric dental emergency and needs to be treated immediately. If left untreated, the infection can spread even further into the bloodstream.

If you can’t get a dentist appointment right away, take your child to the emergency room for treatment.

If you’re looking for an emergency dentist for kids, you can check out this clinic to read about the emergency and teledentistry services they offer.

Signs of an Infected Tooth

Now that you know the signs of an infected tooth, you’ll know exactly what to look for when problems arise.

Remember, a pediatric tooth infection can become severe, so if you’re not sure about your child’s signs, don’t be afraid to double-check with your dentist and ask questions.

Be sure to check out our blog for more health tips that will improve your life!


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