Signs your child may need to see a pediatric dentist

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It is very important to take care of your child’s teeth, as they will need them for a lifetime. A pediatric dentist can help you make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy and properly cared for. There are some signs that you can look for which indicate that your child may need to see a pediatric dentist. If your child has any of these symptoms, it is best to take them to a pediatric dentist as soon as possible:

Tooth decay

– One of the most common problems seen by pediatric dentists is tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to serious health problems, including infection and even death. Tooth decay occurs when plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) builds up on the teeth and gums. If you brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day, and they are still getting cavities, it is time for them to see a pediatric dentist.

Difficulty breathing

– One of the most concerning things that parents notice with their children is if they have difficulty breathing. When this occurs, along with some other signs (such as high fevers or problems swallowing) it may be an indication that something is blocking their airway. A good test for this would be to place some water in the back of your child’s mouth, and if it causes them to choke, they need help right away. Having food or toys stuck between their teeth (or even braces) can cause problems like this, so your child must see a pediatric dentist make sure that this is not causing the issue.

Dental pain

– One of the first things that children do when they feel any type of tooth pain, is to go on themselves and pull on their teeth. If your child is constantly doing this or acting like they are in pain, it is time for them to see a pediatric dentist. Toothaches can be very painful (and even debilitating), so if untreated dental pain persists, it needs to be seen by a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Toddler Tooth Decay

Swollen gums

– When your child’s gums are swollen around their teeth, you may notice changes in how their mouth looks over time. This occurs because plaque has built up, and when it is left untreated, the gums around the teeth will start to swell. If you notice that your child’s gums are swollen or red, they should see a pediatric dentist right away.

Interrupted breathing

– One symptom of many different health problems in children (including choking) is when they begin to breathe in an interrupted pattern (where their breaths are short). When this occurs during sleep or when inactive, it is usually not anything serious, but if the child continues to stop breathing for short periods while awake it can be cause for concern. A common example might be snoring at night.

Mouth injuries

– Injuries from falling or accidents involving sports equipment can lead to mouth injuries. If you notice that your child is missing teeth or has bleeding from their mouth, it may be a sign of a serious injury and they should see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

Swelling on the face

– When there is swelling around the face, it can indicate that an infection is present. One of the most common types of infections in children happens to be oral herpes. This type of herpes (which affects the gums and lips) appears as blisters which turn into sores; these can also lead to fever, swollen lymph nodes (in the neck area), chills, headache, etc.). It is very rare for this to happen in children under five years old because their immune system usually protects them; however, when older children (5 and up) get oral herpes, it can be life-threatening.


– Another sign of a problem in the mouth is heartburn. If your child is experiencing coughing, gagging, or problems swallowing, this could indicate that there’s something stuck in the throat; however, it could also mean that they have acid reflux. One test for this would be to put some liquid into their mouth and if they start to cough or choke it is probably acid reflux. This is caused by stomach acids moving up into the esophagus (the tube leading from the throat to the stomach). Children who experience this need to see a pediatric dentist because left untreated, acid reflux can lead to serious issues, including damage to the teeth and gums.

Loose teeth

If your child is losing their baby teeth at a normal rate, that’s usually not something to be concerned about; however, if they are losing permanent teeth too soon or have lost all of their adult teeth, it is time for them to see a pediatric dentist. They should also see a pediatric dentist if they are constantly cracking or breaking their teeth because this could indicate bone loss in the mouth (which may be due to osteoporosis). You should have your child evaluated by a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

Sores on the roof of the mouth

– One sign that you might notice is small red sores located on the roof of your child’s mouth. These sores may appear to be white or yellow with a red border. If you notice these sores, it is time for them to see a pediatric dentist. When they are left untreated, this can lead to serious health problems including oral cancer.

Swelling on the face

– One symptom of an infection in the mouth is swelling around one or both eyes (which could indicate that there is an abscess present). This symptom might also be accompanied by fever, headache, and general malaise (feeling sick). It’s important to have any type of infection treated as soon as possible because they can become dangerous if not taken care of early enough.

Lumps on the neck

– One sign of cancer in the mouth, throat, or jaw area is lumps along the neck. These can initially be painless but over time they may become painful to the touch. If your child experiences this, it’s important for them to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible because these types of cancers are more common in children than adults (and therefore need to be treated quickly).

Difficulty breathing

– When something is obstructing your child’s airway you might notice that they are having difficulty breathing. This usually occurs when an object gets stuck in their throat and prevents them from being able to breathe normally. If you notice this happening, they need to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.