Dentoalveolar Infections

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.