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Within the world of pediatric dentistry, tooth infections are some of the most important issues to be aware of. Children have immune systems that aren’t as well-developed as adults, and this leaves them at much higher risk of a tooth infection than an adult.

At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, our child dental services involve frequent checks for the underlying signs and causes of infection. You can help at home as well, though – here are a few common signs of a tooth infection, which you should report to us immediately if they’re present.


One of the simplest signs for parents who still frequently brush their children’s teeth is coloration – infected teeth will often turn a darker color than surrounding teeth, making them easy to spot.


You may also notice swelling, either within the gums or on the neck or jaw. Red, swollen gums often signal infection of a tooth, and if you see it in these other areas as well, this could mean the infection has actually begun to spread and should be remedied immediately.

Breath and Taste

If you notice consistent bad breath in your child, especially if it accompanies a tooth ache they complain about, infection is likely the culprit. Children may also complain of a bad taste in their mouth, even when they aren’t eating or drinking.

Pain and Sensitivity

Severe pain or throbbing is one of the most common signs of a tooth infection. It comes as a result of pus collecting in the affected area, making it more sensitive to touch and often aggravating during chewing. Even if a tooth ache goes away, your child could still have an infection – it could be the result of the pulp in the tooth dying, which will reduce pain while continuing to spread the infection.


Children with a tooth infection often will show a much lower appetite, and resulting weight loss. In many cases this is due to fever or other sickness, which can include nausea or vomiting. Children can’t communicate their feelings at certain young ages, and might not be able to tell you their tooth is hurting, so trickle-down results like this can take place.

For more information on recognizing tooth infection, or any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.