Dentoalveolar Infections in Children

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Healthy teeth should not hurt. If your child has been complaining of tooth pain or sensitivity, he or she may have a cavity or a dentoalveolar (relating to the teeth) infection

Here is some basic information about dentoalveolar infections: 

  • A dentoalveolar infection starts when bacteria enter a tooth through a cavity or fracture in the tooth. 
  • An infection can also be caused by an impacted tooth, which is a tooth that does not fully emerge through the gums. 
  • If your child has a toothache, tooth sensitivity to hot or cold, or mouth swelling, you should take him or her to the dentist. 
  • A dentoalveolar infection is typically easy to treat if diagnosed early. However, if left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the body and may result in a life-threatening situation. 
  • A dentoalveolar infection is typically treated with antibiotics. In more severe cases or repeat infections, the affected tooth may need to be removed. 

How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches dentoalveolar infections

Your child’s specific treatment depends upon his or her symptoms and condition. Treatment can include everything from a simple prescription for antibiotics to extraction of a tooth.

The surgeons in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston Children's have performed countless tooth extractions, including removal of impacted wisdom teeth. They will assess your child's unique situation and develop a treatment plan.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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