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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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Dealing with the Middle of the Night Toothache

Posted on 6/25/2015 by Cynthia Pelley
A little boy suffering from a tooth ache.Toothaches are never fun for anyone, but when they happen to a child in the middle of the night, everyone can get frustrated. Before you lose your temper or start to panic because you are sure that something is really wrong with your child, take these simple steps to ensure that everyone stays calm and that the situation is rectified in the calmest manner possible.

Examine the Area
The first step is to get a good look inside your child's mouth. Sometimes what they think is a toothache is actually a bit cheek, tongue, or something of that nature. Take a flashlight and look where he says the pain is coming from. Look for inflamed areas, cuts, or other unusual spots. At this time, you should also look for food or debris that is lodged in his teeth as this can cause tremendous pain. If you see something in there, try to gently remove it with a piece of floss. If it is not budging, try having your child rinse his mouth with warm water to loosen the particles and then try flossing again. Once the particle is removed, typically his pain will be alleviated.

Helping the Pain
If it was not a piece of food lodged in his teeth and is in fact a dental issue, such as a fractured tooth or issue with his gums, have him rinse his mouth with warm salt water. This can sometimes help any swelling and pain to dissipate for the time being. This can be done as often as the pain comes back, keeping him comfortable until you are able to get him into the office. If he is not old enough to rinse his mouth or this does not alleviate his pain, give him a cold compress to place on the outside of his mouth to help minimize swelling and pain.

Watch his Diet
If your child has tooth pain, watching what he eats will help to control his pain. Foods that are either very hot or very cold can worsen the pain. Instead, have him consume room temperature foods that are not too hard or require excessive chewing. Soft foods, such as bananas, yogurt (that is not too cold), cooled oatmeal, and other soft foods can help to keep the pain away. Any excessive sugar or foods that require a lot of chewing can aggravate the area, making the pain even worse.

Handling Dental Emergencies

If your child's tooth pain is out of control and not able to be handled with any of these methods; he is bleeding excessively; or you see a severely fractured or decayed tooth, it warrants an emergency call to our office. We will be able to walk you through the necessary steps to get your child comfortable as well as what to do next in order to rectify the situation.

Toothaches are nothing to panic about, but they are not something to take lightly. If your child wakes in the middle of the night with throbbing pain, try to get to the root of the problem for him without causing unnecessary panic. Simply using a flashlight to see the area up close can give you a clue as to what is going on. If you cannot figure it out, a quick call to our office can give you ideas on what you can do to help him get comfortable and to eliminate the pain. It is never easy to see our children in pain, which is why we are here for you to make your job a little easier.

Please call us at (503) 235-0313 anytime to discuss your child's dental emergencies.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202