I’m confused by something. My son’s dentist said that a tooth infection cannot cause a fever, but isn’t fever a sign of an infection. He’s been getting in a lot of teeth and now he has a fever. I’m wondering if one of those teeth has somehow gotten infected.
I’m hoping your dentist didn’t understand your question. It’s possible he meant that not every tooth infection develops a fever. In the early stages, especially, an infection is confined inside the tooth. Often that will not contribute to a fever. However, if it is left unrecognized and untreated it will begin to leak out of the tooth, often in the form of an abscess, which looks like a pimple on the gums.
Your bodies defenses kick in and one of those defenses is a fever. Any infection can present with a fever. Though some dentists say it isn’t true, most parents will say that some children develop a low-grade fever while they are teething. That doesn’t mean there is an infection. It’s just his body’s response to his pain.
If he’s teething and the fever is minor, I would start with some Orajel on his gums and children’s Tylenol for the pain.
That being said, if his fever is higher and there is reasons to suspect decay, you will need to see a pediatric dentist or a general dentist who treats children. Even during the COVID-19 quarantine, he can be seen for urgent dental needs.
Tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. This is because if they are left untreated, they will spread into the bone, which in your son’s case can damage his adult teeth, or they can spread to the heart, lungs, or brain.
Don’t panic over that. It would be an obvious infection to get that far. You are not in that stage, nor have you any indication of decay. He’s likely just teething or teething and fighting off something else.
Treat his pain and keep an eye on him.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.