Healthy teeth don’t hurt and cause a cranky child. If your child has been complaining of toothache or sensitivity, chances are that they might be suffering from dental decay, cavity, or a dentialveolar (relating to the teeth) infection. A dentoalveolar infection primarily affects your child’s teeth or mouth.
Here is a list of things that you need to know about dentoalveolar infections:
A dentoalveolar infection starts taking shape when bacteria penetrate the tooth through a cavity or fracture on the surface of the tooth.
An infection might also be a result of an impacted tooth, which is a tooth that could not sprout out of the gums for some reason.
If your child happens to be struggling with a toothache, tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages, or mouth swelling, you should bring that to the attention of your dentist.
A dentoalveolar infection is usually very easy to get rid of if diagnosed at an early stage. However, if left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the body and may result in a life-threatening situation.
This infection can be easily taken care of with antibiotics. In serious circumstances or instances of recurrence, that affected tooth/teeth might have to be surgically extracted.
Will It Go Away on Its Own?
There is no way that a dentoalveolar infection will go away on its own. If your child is struggling with the correlated symptoms, he/she will possibly need medical attention. In most cases concerning dentoalveolar infections, the primary effort is put behind getting rid of the infection without having to uproot the teeth. If that doesn’t work, they will have to be surgically extracted from your child’s mouth. Antibiotics are usually prescribed at the same time to heal the infection at the earliest.
How Serious Is It?
If diagnosed at an early stage, the dentoalveolar infection can be easily treated with the help of antibiotics or tooth extraction. If left unattended, however, the infection might spread to the other parts of your child’s mouth and even sneak into the bloodstream, leading to a serious condition called “sepsis”.
Approaches To Treating Dentoalveolar Infections
Your child’s specific treatment depends completely upon the symptoms and condition that he or she exhibits. Treatment can include everything from a simple prescription for antibiotics to the extraction of an infected tooth. The dental health expert is usually required to assess your child’s unique situation to curate and develop a treatment plan.
Symptoms & Causes of Dentoalveolar Infections
What Causes a Dentoalveolar Infection?
The infection takes shape when the bacteria penetrate the surface of the tooth through an unattended cavity or a chip in the enamel. It might also happen when a particle of food gets stuck in the soft tissue of the surrounding tooth.
What are the symptoms of a dentoalveolar infection?
If your child happens to exhibit any of the following symptoms, it is advisable that you take her or him to your dental health expert or pediatrician:
- cheek swelling
- tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or pressure
- swollen lymph nodes
- redness or swelling of the gums next to a tooth
If your child happens to have an abscess that ruptures, bad-tasting fluid or pus might fill his or her mouth. Even after the abscess has ruptured and the pain goes away, the source of the infection still needs to be medically treated.
Diagnosis & Treatments of Dentoalveolar Infections
How Do We Diagnose Dentoalveolar Infections?
The first step towards treating the dentoalveolar infection is forming a complete, specific, and accurate diagnosis of your child.
When you take your child in for an assessment, the dental health expert will thoroughly examine the affected tooth and the surrounding vicinity to look for swelling and other signs of infection.
X-rays help identify the abscess or impacted tooth.
A blood test might be necessary to look for signs of infection and its severity.
How do we treat dentoalveolar infections?
As mentioned, the treatment of your child depends completely on the cause of the infection and the pace at which it is progressing or spreading.
Infection Caused by Cavity or Fracture in The Tooth
The first step towards treating a dentoalveolar infection is to drain the infection. This might often be taken care of with the help of a root canal- a surgical procedure that is used to remove an infected nerve end from inside the tooth.
However, a root canal doesn’t always successfully save the affected tooth; and the infected tooth will have to be extracted.
After the infection has been drained out or the tooth has been taken out, the dentist is most likely to prescribe antibiotics to make sure that the infection-causing bacteria remains contained and doesn’t spread any further in your child’s mouth.
If the severity of the infection in your child’s mouth is on the higher end of the scale or is caused by an impacted tooth, she or he might have to stay in the hospital for a day or two to receive Intravenous antibiotics.
Impacted teeth might partially be hidden under the gum tissue. The food particle, upon entering the gap between the tooth and the gum tissue, an infection starts to take shape.
Antibiotics are prescribed to deal with the infection, but the infected tooth ultimately has to be extracted. The dentist will cut open an incision in the gum covering the impacted tooth, remove a tiny part of the bone, and extract the tooth. Sutures or stitches will be put to hold the gum together after the successful removal of the tooth.
How Can We Prevent Future Infections?
The best and easiest way to prevent any dentoalveolar infection is to make sure that your child maintains a good dental health and oral hygiene regimen. If you know that your child possibly has an impacted tooth, try bringing it to the attention of your dentist or an orthodontist to avoid any future hullabaloo
Preventing Tooth Decay and Cavities Involves Five Simple Steps:
Brush your child’s teeth and clean their tongue twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste, or monitor them while they do it on their own.
Flossing your child’s teeth is necessary on a daily basis, only after the age of 2.
You have to ensure that your child eats a well-balanced diet and refrains from consuming sugary snacks.
Consult your child’s physician or dentist about any supplemental use of fluoride and/or dental sealants.
Schedule dental cleaning sessions for your child’s teeth at least twice a year or every 6 months.
What Else Can We Do at Home?
The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends the following set of guidelines to ensure your child maintains a correct diet to have a healthy body and teeth:
- Ask your child’s dentist to help you evaluate your child’s diet.
- Don’t routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks.
- Buy fun foods only for special occasions.
- Limit the number of sugary and starchy snacks and replace them with nutritious alternatives.
- Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch only for mealtimes.
- Don’t make it a habit for your child to go to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice.
- If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose the ones without sugar.
What Is the Long-Term Outlook for Dentoalveolar Infections?
Maximum cases of dentoalveolar infections are taken care of with the help of antibiotics and cleaning out or the extraction of the infected tooth or teeth. However, the infection goes out of hand, might get slightly tricky to treat, and might need surgery or hospitalization. Rush your child to the dentist, orthodontist, or at least a pediatrician as soon as you notice the symptoms of an infection.