The Root of the Problem
Inside every tooth is a dental pulp. This tissue is alive and contains nerves. When a cavity runs deep and touches the pulp, this can result in pain secondary to pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp tissue). It is important to understand that this is NOT a dental abscess. Taking antibiotics will not resolve the pain in this situation; rather, the tooth will either need be filled or removed to address the toothache.
If the pulp dies, however, and the bacteria invade the tooth and eventually spread into the adjacent bone, this is termed a dental abscess. In this case, antibiotics WILL make a difference, and typically need 48 hours to settle the infection. Antibiotics, alone, are not the only solution to this problem. Again, the offending tooth will either need to be removed or treated with root canal therapy.
If your child is experiencing a toothache, please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule an emergency appointment. We will do our best to manage the pain and get your child back to normal.