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Dentistry/injury to baby teeth

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Question
My 3-year-old daughter slipped on a tile pool deck 6 months ago, and her front top two teeth took the brunt of the force. Our first trip to the dentist revealed that the teeth were slightly loose, but an xray showed everything to be ok otherwise. It was a watch-and-wait situation. After a couple of weeks passed, her teeth tightened back up, and we were so thankful! Then a couple of weeks later, the teeth began to turn grey. I took her to the dentist again. They inspected them and all was still fine. In the coming weeks, the greyness even lightened a bit. I felt pretty optimistic about it, even though at her 6 month check-up, the dentist said we are not out of the woods yet. Blisters could still appear above her teeth. That was in October. Just the day before yesterday, a bump (resembing a pimple almost) appeared on her gum, near but not directly above one of the injured teeth. It is about 3/4 the diameter of an eraser on a pencil. She bumped it while playing, and I used a cotton swab to absorb the fluid that came out. I cannot take her to the dentist until tomorrow due to the holidays, and I am guessing this is not an emergency situation. I am so worried that the only solution is extraction. She is only 3, and is still learning to talk properly, and those teeth are crucial for that. Not to mention eating. I know it is only baby teeth and in the grand scheme not an enormous deal, but we are such avid brushers and flossers in this house, it really is such a shame :(

Answer
Good morning Tracy,

I'm sorry your daughter is going through all this and I can certainly understand your concern. It sounds like one or both of her teeth have abscessed. The blister you see is where the abscess is draining and since it is draining, she won't really have much, if any pain, so this is not an emergency situation but certainly needs to be treated.

The first thing would be to determine if both or just one of the teeth are affected. Next would be to determine a means of treatment. It is possible to do root canals on baby teeth so they can be preserved. Since your daughter is so young, you might want to consult with a pedodontist (children's specialist) and/or an endodontist so that the treatment can be done in a comfortable setting and done well to minimize any fears your daughter might have. In the right hands, she will do just fine and it is really a fairly easy procedure to do with little to no post operative problems, especially since it is draining.

I hope this helps make you feel better about this situation. Good luck!

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD

Dentistry

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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD

Expertise

I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.

Experience

25 years practicing as a specialist

Organizations
American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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