Does My Baby Have a Toothache?

When your baby is too young to speak, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what the matter is when they’re feeling unhappy or uncomfortable. One thing that can be perfectly clear from their cries and cues is that something’s wrong. A toddler’s signs of oral discomfort may include everything from drooling to crankiness, and many parents are correct in attributing these symptoms to teething. But what if pain caused by decay is actually the culprit? Could your baby have a toothache?

Unfortunately, tooth decay in babies and toddlers, often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Tooth Decay, is not uncommon. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • baby-teeth-6485868White, chalky spots near the gumline (most commonly near the two front teeth) convey early signs of decay. Consult with your pediatric dentist to reverse the situation before it gets worse.
  • Brown spots near the gumline indicate more advanced decay. Dental treatment will likely be necessary.
  • Baby’s tooth or jaw is sensitive to the touch.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold liquids.
  • Facial swelling.

If your baby has a fever or has been feeling sick for over 24 hours, be sure to consult your pediatrician, too.

Want to stop dental decay before it starts? Check out the following APPD blogs:

Putting the Brakes on Dental Decay in Kids
10 Oral Health Tips for Babies Under One Year
Growing Dental Decay in Preschoolers – Stop the Cycle at Home!

Photo (featured): Daquella Manera/CC BY 2.0

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