WWYD? baby's tooth

(49 Posts)
blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 11:47:28

Our baby (13 months) broke one of her front teeth and it now has a little pus-filled blister on it, i.e. it is infected. She is happy and not in any obvious pain.

The dentist said that we can either:

a) have it removed with general anaesthetic

b) treat it with antibiotics and try to keep it clean for a year or two, maybe until she is old enough to have it out with local or is bigger to reduce the risks of GA

I'm really not sure what to do. It is right at the front of her mouth and looks red on the gum. We haven't done anything yet. It's not spreading quickly like a grown-up abscess would.

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 11:48:51

I am frightened to death of general anaesthetic, but also think it might wear her down keeping it going for years on and off infected.

We've seen a few dentists and none are really sure what the best course of action is.

Ivegotyourgoat Thu 19-May-16 11:51:21

I think I'd treat it with antibiotics initially.

What if want to know is

(A) is there any possibility of saving the tooth
(B) are there any possible complications of leaving it in such as damage to the adult tooth
(C) what are the risks of a GA at this age

Ivegotyourgoat Thu 19-May-16 11:51:44

What I'd want to know

Pinkheart5915 Thu 19-May-16 11:55:15

I'd go with antibiotics personally. I wouldn't want general anaesthetic used.

The fact none of the few dentists you've seen, can tell you what's the best course of action would worry me I think. How can the professionals not knowhmm

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 11:58:37

The tooth is very broken - there's no way to do anything to it. They all think the tooth is dying/dead.

Yeah, none of them are explaining properly, it's weird. If you look on the NHS site it says any sign of an abscess go immediately to the dentist, it's an emergency, but the dentists all seem quite blase. I'm in a posh bit of the south with good dentists.

confused and worried.

SwivelOnYourRedChair Thu 19-May-16 12:00:58

Something similar happened to my DD around the same age, she fell over and hit her two front teeth snapping them and leaving two little stubs in place.

Her top two teeth have completely eroded away now, she has no obvious pain and touch wood haven't had any infections.

She has check ups every three months, with a view to have them taken out when she's older (just turned two).
Around here, the dentists will not remove them until she is three!

Personally, I think that if they're not bothering her then just leave it well alone, but keep a close eye on it.

SwivelOnYourRedChair Thu 19-May-16 12:04:19

Also opinion has been divided as two dentist's advised me to have them taken out when she's three, another lot has warned against it.

Apparently it is our decision, so generally just going with a wait and see approach.

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 12:05:44

I agree Swivel, but the fact it is infected/has pus? Should I take the antibiotics do you think?

Amazing that your DD has coped so well. Hopefully it means our daughters will be daring, bold women!

I am a nervous wreck, even my husband is annoyed with me because I cannot stop talking about/googling this. I can't face the fact that we can't resolve it for her, and find the way the dentists are giving us a choice maddening.

When your DD is three, will she need GA?

I didn't know if everyone would say 'GA is fine, best thing to do' or not. This is incredibly helpful, to have your responses.

skinoncustard Thu 19-May-16 12:09:12

I wouldn't want to nurse this along with antibiotics off and on for a year or two , but I definitely wouldn't want to give such a young child a GA out with a hospital situation.
Do you have a dental teaching hospital near you?
My DD broke her front tooth at 18 months and it was removed at the dental hospital under GA , I cuddled her as she was put under, it was just a very light / quick anesthetic but traumatic for both of us nonetheless .

skinoncustard Thu 19-May-16 12:10:34

By the way , her adult teeth were totally unaffected .

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 12:11:42

Hi custard - yes, we have an excellent hospital and so it would be done there. How long was she out for? Why was it traumatic for her? Did the tooth-space hurt a lot afterwards?

SwivelOnYourRedChair Thu 19-May-16 12:15:18

I would give her the antibiotics. Abscesses usually clear up relatively quickly I've found.

She's a tough little cookie, and I'm sure your DD is too. Hell I'm a wimp when I have an infection and your DD is carrying on as normal smile

I've been there, completely obsessed with finding a cure. There isn't a quick fix to this, and don't beat yourself up over it! I do feel guilty every time I brush DD teeth and see the stubs, but accidents happen and it really isn't the end of the world.

If we do decide to go ahead when she's three, she will be referred to the hospital to have it done under GA.

I'm really in two minds over it, as it is a Major thing to be put under GA.

CountessOfStrathearn Thu 19-May-16 12:17:38

Pinkheart, "The fact none of the few dentists you've seen, can tell you what's the best course of action would worry me I think. How can the professionals not know"

Not a dentist, but it is the same for being a doctor:

Sometimes there are a number of reasonable actions, including doing nothing
Doctors/dentists can't see into the future and tell what is going to happen
Patients are individuals, not machines

blondie, I don't know the best thing to do, but if she did have a GA, it sounds like a minor op and only been done under GA because you can't expect a toddler to stay still. It would therefore very likely be a very swift and pretty light one, giving them just enough time to whip it out.

There's a good explanation of it all here:

www.apagbi.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/Your%20childs%20general%20anaesthetic%20for%20dental.pdf

SwivelOnYourRedChair Thu 19-May-16 12:22:54

Thank you Countess for that!

I was left with the impression she would be under for a lot longer than that. Did not realise it would be over within minutes!

skinoncustard Thu 19-May-16 12:25:04

After she was "under" I was asked to leave the room, I didn't even get my bum on the seat in the waiting room before I was asked to go to the recovery room ! It was a very quick procedure .
She was upset on wakening as there was the taste of blood in her mouth and I assume she felt dopey coming round from the anesthetic . I was obviously upset that my child was 'hurting' .
We both quickly recovered smile

CountessOfStrathearn Thu 19-May-16 12:26:17

Glad it's a helpful link. smile

TheDropBear Thu 19-May-16 12:26:36

I think I'd treat it with antibiotics now but get it removed if it keeps getting infected.
I broke one of mine at 2 or 3 and they just left it until my adult teeth came in. Obviously dentistry has improved since then but just to put your mind at ease a bit she might cope fine with it.

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 12:32:00

Thank you everyone so much for these responses - I am so grateful reading them. Any more opinions/experience please post.

There's nothing as stressful as worrying about a baby (except perhaps actually taking them in for an operation - you were very brave custard)

violentvioletx Thu 19-May-16 12:42:08

Hi op, I'm a dentist, In this situation I would initially treat with antibiotics to clear the current infection, keep the area really clean, brush as normal, use salt water mouthwashes if she will tolerate it. Once the initial infection has cleared you can reassess. If it stays clear of infection leave it be. If it repeatedly becomes infected with little time between then look at extraction again. Baby teeth are obviously very different to adult teeth and react very differently under this kind of situation. Is there any tooth visibly above gum line? The infection short term won't cause her any immediate harm however I would rather start the antibiotics sooner rather than later.

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 17:10:37

Thank you Violet, we've got some antibiotics now and will see if that buys us a little time.

violentvioletx Thu 19-May-16 17:38:29

The antibiotics should get rid of the initial problem smile, when you brush the tooth it may be an idea to run the brush under warm water first so it's less 'scratchy', continue brushing as normal though as will help the area heal. Hope it heals soon!!!

StarryIllusion Thu 19-May-16 18:14:21

The pain of an abcessed tooth is hideous. Have it out now, don't leave it to cause her problems. She won't care about having it out and GA is minimal risk. I was put under 4 times before age 3 for operations.

blondieblonde Thu 19-May-16 19:03:40

Ok - she isn't in any pain, it's just a pus-y blister on the gum, no pressure inside. Is quite happy to have it touched etc. We'll go on the waiting list for extraction I expect, however long that is! Feeling much better now we've started anti-bs ...

violentvioletx Thu 19-May-16 19:14:55

An abscess on a baby tooth is completely different to an abscess on an adult tooth. One of the reasons we tend to try and keep baby teeth in place as they 'save the space' for the adult teeth to come through. Your experience of anaesthetic under the age of three is not necessarily the same for others and it is completely up to the OP whether or not the tooth is extracted. If her dd was in Pain the dentist would have recommended extraction over antibiotics straight away.

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