When to Worry: Detecting Signs of Tooth Trouble in Children

Young children can’t always tell us when they are having trouble with their teeth, so it’s important for parents to be alert for signs that something may be wrong. In this blog, we’ll cover the most common signs of trouble and what you can do if your child is experiencing them.

Waking Frequently at Night

If your child is waking up frequently during the night, their teeth may be causing them discomfort. A toothache can be due to a cavity, or it could be caused by something as simple as food stuck between their teeth. If you notice this happening regularly, take your child to the dentist for an examination.

Loss of Appetite or Food Aversions

Children who experience pain when eating may start to reject certain foods or lose their appetite altogether. If your child is having difficulty enjoying meals, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with their teeth. It is important to look inside your child’s mouth and check for any unusual color on their teeth or gums. If you notice any discoloration, you should promptly get in touch with a pediatric dentist like Southern Dental Associates.

Swollen Gums

If your child’s gums appear swollen or red, it could be a sign of an infection. Gums that are swollen and tender may indicate that there is bacteria present in the mouth. Healthy gums should be pink, so if your little one’s gums become dark red and swollen, that can be a sign of an underlying tooth infection.

Bad Breath

It is common for both children and adults to have occasional bad breath. Persistent bad breath, however, can indicate the presence of an excess amount of bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to gum tissue infections or dental decay. It is advisable to seek advice from your pediatric dentist to distinguish between regular bad breath and signs that may indicate a more serious condition.


Over time, the color of your child’s tooth can change due to tooth decay that deteriorates the outer enamel layer. You should check for dark pits on the surface of the teeth or notice if the affected tooth has a darker shade of enamel compared to the adjacent teeth.

Swollen Jaw or Neck

Teeth are connected to the jaws and neck through a network of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. An infection in one or more teeth can cause symptoms in the surrounding area. If your child’s neck or jaw appears swollen or redder than normal, that could indicate the need for a checkup at the dentist.

Southern Dental Associates: Pediatric Dentistry You Can Trust

If your child is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s time to book an appointment with a pediatric dentist. Southern Dental Associates has certified specialists who will be able to examine your child and offer the best course of action. With early detection and treatment, we can help protect your child’s smile for years to come. Contact us today to get started!

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