While dental abscesses typically cause pain and gum inflammation, there may be other, less obvious signs in your youngster. If your child has a tooth infection, or abscess, he or she may be too young to describe the symptoms. Here are three uncommon symptoms of a pediatric dental abscess that you need to recognize so that you can make an appointment with the pediatric dentist.

Excessive Drooling

When the teeth or gums hurt, your child may drool excessively. Oral pain can sometimes trigger hypersalivation, and if you notice that your child is drooling too much, make a dental appointment. In addition to pain, drooling may also be associated with a bad taste in your child's mouth.

A dental abscess can lead to an unpleasant-tasting drainage from the tooth or gum area. The drainage is typically purulent, which means that it contains pus. When pus is present in the oral cavity, it may trigger inflammation, another risk factor for excessive inflammation. 


If your child bites his or her hands, or tries to bite objects, a dental infection may be brewing. Irritated gums from an infected tooth can also cause itching, which may also prompt your child to chew or bite on the hands, blankets, or toys. If your child has the urge to bite, offer a frozen teething ring to help soothe inflamed oral tissues.

The coldness of the teething ring will help dampen inflammation and may also help numb the pain of the abscess. While a cold teething ring may help keep your child comfortable, it is not to be used in lieu of a pediatric dentistry consultation. 

Throat Redness

An abscessed tooth can lead to a throat infection. Purulent drainage from the infection site is teeming with bacteria, and when swallowed, it can infect the tonsils and pharynx. If your child has a red throat, especially if accompanied by excessive drooling and biting, make an appointment with both the pediatrician and dentist.

If a dental abscess is found to be the cause of the throat infection, the dentist will treat it accordingly. Once the dental abscess has been effectively treated with the appropriate antibiotic, the throat infection will probably resolve as well.

If your child experiences any of the above signs and symptoms of a dental abscess, make appointments with both his or her pediatrician and a pediatric dentistry professional. When dental infections are recognized and treated early on, it is less likely that your child will experience complications such as tooth loss or soft tissue damage.