101 Drake Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Children who have large cavities can experience pain in their baby teeth just like adults. Decay is a bacterial infection that can spread into the surrounding bone and soft tissue if left untreated. Children can become severely ill if the infection spreads into the area of the eye or under the jaw. A serious infection of this type may result in the need to
hospitalize a child for the administration of IV antibiotics.
An avulsed baby tooth should not be replaced and normally requires no emergency intervention. Attempt to
locate the tooth. If unable to locate the tooth, it may have been pushed up into the bone below the gum line. If your child is coughing, a chest radiograph should be obtained in order to rule out aspiration. If aspiration of a baby tooth has been ruled out, immediate care is not necessary. Please call the office to schedule an appointment for an examination.
An avulsed permanent tooth requires immediate intervention. Every effort must be made to “save” the tooth by maintaining the vitality of the cells that cover the root. Hold the tooth by the crown and do not touch the root. If there is soil or debris on the tooth’s root, it should be cleaned off prior to replanting the tooth. Rinse the tooth gently with water, milk or Hanks Balanced Salt Solution which can be found in the “Save-A-Tooth” kit on Amazon. If possible, gently replace the tooth in the socket. Swelling and a blood clot in the socket may impede replacing the tooth later. Make sure that the tooth is facing in the right direction. Replacing the tooth in the socket significantly improves the prognosis for the tooth. If you are unable to replace the tooth in the socket, place it in cold white milk or Hanks Balanced Salt Solution (the ideal transport medium) for transport to the dentist. Notify Dr. Cupelli as soon as possible. Urgent treatment is necessary.
A wire splint will be placed to stabilize the tooth as soon as your child is seen. How the tooth is stored for transport, if not replaced in the socket, and the tooth’s root development will determine the treatment plan and prognosis.
A swelling in the gums is often caused by an infection from a nearby tooth. This infection is called an abscess. An abscessed tooth can be painful, or it may not hurt at all. In either scenario, it is important to contact a dentist right away. If left untreated, a dental abscess may damage the developing permanent teeth and in some cases, can cause a life-threatening infection of the face, neck, and brain.
If your child has a fever, redness, a swollen face or neck or is complaining of severe pain, he or she requires emergency care. An abscess that is draining (looks like a pimple on the gum above the tooth) and has no other symptoms can wait until normal office hours for treatment.
Sometimes an ulcer on the gum (apthous ulcer) may be mistaken for an abscess. These ulcers are typically painful to the touch or with exposure to some foods. The best way to alleviate pain and hasten healing is with a dab of vitamin E. Poke a hole in the end of a vitamin E capsule and squeeze the liquid onto the ulcer. Dr. Cupelli also recommends warm salt water rinses which can be done several times a day. Mix 8 ounces of water with 1/4 tsp. of salt and rinse the mouth with this solution.
If there is any doubt as to the need for urgent treatment, please call the office.
A discolored primary incisor can be evaluated whenever the child can be scheduled for an appointment, unless the discoloration is accompanied with pain, fever or swelling.
A discolored permanent incisor will be referred to a root canal specialist, an Endodontist.
If a primary incisor is pushed out of it’s normal position, the first thing to check is whether or not your child can fully close his or her mouth. If the displaced tooth is interfering with the bite, it may need to be repositioned or extracted.
If a permanent tooth is displaced, this may require an emergency visit for repositioning and possible splinting. In either case, Dr. Cupelli should be notified.