Abdominal Pain - Female
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Acne
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Antibiotics: When Do They Help
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Asthma Attack
Athlete's Foot
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Bed Bug Bite
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Blisters
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Cracked or Dry Skin
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Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old
Crying Child - 3 Months and Older
Cut, Scrape, or Bruise
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Diarrhea
Diarrhea Diseases From Travel
Dizziness
Drinking Fluids - Decreased
Dry Skin
Ear - Congestion
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Ear - Injury
Ear - Pulling At or Rubbing
Ear - Swimmer's
Ear Infection Questions
Earache
Earwax Buildup
Ebola Exposure
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Emergency Symptoms Not to Miss
Eye - Allergy
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Eye - Injury
Eye - Pus or Discharge
Eye - Red Without Pus
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Fever
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Fever - Myths Versus Facts
Fifth Disease
Finger Injury
Fire Ant Sting
Flu
Fluid Intake Decreased
Food Allergy
Foreskin Care Questions
Frostbite
Genital Injury - Female
Genital Injury - Male
Hair Loss
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease HFMD
Hay Fever
Head Injury
Headache
Heat Exposure and Reactions
Heat Rash
Hives
Human or Animal Bite
Immunization Reactions
Impetigo - Infected Sores
Infection Exposure Questions
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza Exposure
Insect Bite
Jaundiced Newborn
Jellyfish Sting
Leg Injury
Leg Pain
Lice - Head
Lymph Nodes - Swollen
Medication - Refusal to Take
Mental Health Problems
Molluscum
Mosquito Bite
Mosquito-Borne Diseases from Travel
Motion Sickness
Mouth Injury
Mouth Ulcers
Neck Pain or Stiffness
Newborn Appearance Questions
Newborn Illness - How to Recognize
Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks
Newborn Reflexes and Behavior
Nose Allergy Hay Fever
Nose Injury
Nosebleed
Penis-Scrotum Symptoms
Pinworms
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Scrape
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Sliver or Splinter
Sore Throat
Spider Bite
Spitting Up - Reflux
Stomach Pain - Female
Stomach Pain - Male
Stools - Blood In
Stools - Unusual Color
Strep Throat Exposure
Strep Throat Infection
Sty
Sunburn
Suture Questions
Swallowed Foreign Body or Object
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Swimmer's Itch - Lakes and Oceans
Tear Duct - Blocked
Teething
Thrush
Tick Bite
Toe Injury
Toenail - Ingrown
Tooth Injury
Toothache
Umbilical Cord Symptoms
Urinary Tract Infection - Female
Urination Pain - Female
Urination Pain - Male
Vaginal Symptoms
Vomiting With Diarrhea
Vomiting Without Diarrhea
Warts
Wheezing Other Than Asthma
Wound Infection

Resources

Is Your Child Sick?TM


Toothache

Is this your child's symptom?

  • Pain or discomfort in a tooth
  • Not caused by an injury

If NOT, try one of these:


Causes of a Toothache

  • Tooth Decay. If the pain persists more than a day, this is the most common cause. A yellow-brown defect in the enamel may be seen. The most common site is the surface of one of the molars. The pain is dull.
  • Dental Abscess. If the pain is severe and throbbing, the decay has become a tooth abscess. That means a pus pocket has formed within the root of the tooth. Tapping on the tooth causes increased pain. If not treated, the abscess will erode through the bone. A "gum boil" or pimple will be seen below the gum line. The patient needs to see a dentist for a root canal.
  • Cracked Enamel. Biting on a hard object by mistake can crack a tooth. The tooth becomes sensitive to hot and cold liquids. The tooth may look normal. The fracture line may be below the gum line or just hard to see.
  • Gum Disease. Gingivitis is a medical name for irritated gums. They are red and tender. If tooth brushing and flossing are ignored, the gums may even bleed. Can be very painful. Responds to getting the teeth cleaned and daily flossing.
  • Stuck Food. Hard food may become wedged between 2 teeth. Proper flossing will remove the food and stop the pain.

Tooth Abscess and Severe Pain

  • A tooth abscess can cause severe pain not controlled by normal pain medicines.
  • Root canal therapy by an endodontist is needed to cure this problem.
  • In the meantime, call your dentist's office. If you can't reach your dentist, call your doctor for advice. They can often bring the pain under control by calling in a prescription. Most often, this is for an antibiotic such as penicillin.

When to Call for Toothache

Self Care at Home

  • Mild toothache present less than 24 hours

Self Care at Home

  • Mild toothache present less than 24 hours

Care Advice for Mild Toothache

  1. What You Should Know About Toothaches:
    • Most toothaches don't last too long. They are due to a sensitive tooth.
    • If the pain becomes worse or doesn't go away in 24 hours, call your dentist. The pain could be due to a small cavity.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Floss:
    • Floss on either side of the painful tooth to remove any wedged food.
  3. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  4. Cold Pack for Pain:
    • Put a cold pack or ice in a wet washcloth on the painful jaw. Do this for 20 minutes.
  5. What to Expect:
    • Most minor causes of toothache go away in less than a day.
  6. Call Your Dentist If:
    • Toothache lasts more than 24 hours
    • The toothache gets worse
    • You think your child needs to be seen

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

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.


Copyright 1994-2017 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC. All rights reserved.

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