If your child is experiencing tooth ache and/or discomfort during brushing and/or eating, it is an indication that something is wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, the disuse of certain teeth during chewing increases the chances of buildup of tartar and cavities on the side not being used. This is because the fibre in food cleans the tooth surfaces. Therefore it is important to use all of your teeth evenly.

There could be various reasons for why there is pain and/or discomfort during brushing and/or eating and/or drinking:

Caries or Cavities:

the infiltrating bacteria inside the child’s tooth could have gotten near the nerve (pulp) of the tooth and broken down the tooth structurally allowing the ingredients of the toothpaste / a cold, hot or sweet drink or food to get close to the nerve causing pain and discomfort. If the tooth is not treated, it can lead to the development of an abscess and subsequent damage to the permanent teeth developing right under the baby tooth.

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Gum Disease:

bacteria often lurk under the gums around teeth and cause the gums around teeth to become inflammed. Brushing a swollen gum can be painful and it may bleed. While this is less common in children than in adults, it is still one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Removal of the bacteria under the gums is carried out by hygienists to aid in the reduction of the swelling and inflammation.

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Fractured or Worn Down Tooth / Teeth:

some children grind quite heavily and this can lead to wearing down of the tooth’s enamel and eventual exposure of the nerve of the tooth. If not treated, an abscess can develop.

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A Loose Baby Tooth / Teeth:

sometimes a loose baby tooth that is hanging by the gums can be the cause of pain or discomfort. We typically recommend having such teeth extracted preventively to allow the child to use their teeth evenly.

loose baby tooth

An Erupting Adult Tooth:

a permanent tooth that is coming out of the gums can usually be uncomfortable. Also children tend to chew harder things on these areas to help with the discomfort which can cause problems. We recommend an assessment to make sure the tooth is coming in the right way – otherwise this is a normal process.

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