Any injury to the teeth or gums can cause pain. However, sometimes the origin of the pain may not be that obvious. The pain may be the result of many causes, including, but not limited to:

  • Deep cavities
  • Broken or lost fillings or crowns
  • Food stuck in the gums (i.e. popcorn wedged in the gums or between teeth)
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscess (dental infection)

What you can do:

Rinse your child's mouth with warm water every hour as needed to relieve the pain. Clean the area around the affected tooth thoroughly. This includes brushing well in the area and using floss or even a toothpick. Run the toothpick along the gums as this may dislodge any food or other debris stuck between the tooth and the gums. An ice pack placed on the affected site may also help relieve pain.

Do not place aspirin on your child's gum or on the aching tooth as this can cause severe aspirin burn.

Give your child Children's Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Motrin (Ibuprofen) for pain.

If his/her face is swollen around his/her eye, apply an ice pack and take immediately to an emergency room.


Doctor Wang, Doctor Perea-Corkish, Doctor Gerodias and the other Doctors of Discovery Pediatric Dentistry make no warranties, expressed or implied, as to any results to be obtained from use of the information on this page. We cannot diagnose or treat patients over the Internet. Information on this site is for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical, and/or dental attention or diagnosis. Without all available information about a patient, it is impossible to make a diagnosis. Help and answers are in the form of general ideas. Only you, your dentist, and other necessary and qualified health care providers can make an appropriate treatment decision in an emergency or for everyday care and dental treatment.

Read our full disclaimer