Types of Dental Emergencies
Parents do not always know what to do when their child experiences a dental emergency in Fort Collins, CO. At Big Grins Pediatric Dentistry, we encourage parents to familiarize themselves with common dental emergencies in kids. When they know what to look for, they know whether the problem can wait or whether it needs urgent attention.
We also recommend that parents program the phone number (970) 407-1020 into their contact list to avoid having to scramble to it when their child needs prompt treatment. Our office closes at 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday and noon on Friday, but the call will roll to an answering service or the emergency dentist on duty.
Common Types of Pediatric Dental Emergencies
Our dentists see children for a variety of reasons outside normal preventive care check-ups. We describe some of the most common scenarios below.
Dental Abscess Accompanied by Facial Swelling
This type of emergency arises when a typical dental abscess spreads to parts of the face and causes a condition known as cellulitis, which is a deep infection of the skin. Symptoms that could indicate cellulitis include:
- Swelling outside the mouth
- Potential distortion under the jaw or near an eye socket
When a child has a tooth abscess, it means that a bacterial infection is present and that the tooth’s dead pulp is allowing it to spread unchecked. The situation becomes an emergency when the infection reaches the facial muscles. Our dentists and the child’s regular physician will work together to find the best course of treatment
Viral Herpetic Cold Sore
Also known as water blisters, viral herpetic cold sores are painful, itchy, fluid-filled sacks that appear at the corner of a child’s mouth. Because these blisters are highly contagious, children can benefit from starting on antiviral medication. Parents should start to notice the blisters disappearing within about three days, and children should stop complaining of pain and itchiness within about 10 days.
Whether a child loses a primary or permanent tooth due to trauma to the mouth, parents should contact Big Grins Pediatric Dentistry as soon as possible.
Parents sometimes make the mistake of thinking that visiting the dentist is not necessary after premature loss of a baby tooth because a permanent tooth will eventually take its place. While this is true, losing the tooth too early can cause problems with alignment over the next few years. Our dentists will let parents know if a space maintainer is appropriate after examining the child’s mouth and taking X-rays.
If a child loses some or all of a permanent tooth due to an accident, parents should try to locate as much of the tooth as possible and bring it with them to the appointment for a dental emergency in Fort Collins, CO. Our staff will instruct parents how to transport the tooth safely when they call for urgent services.
The above represent just three potential pediatric dental emergencies. We encourage parents to contact us whenever they feel that something is just not right with their child’s oral health.