dental care


First molars

(Anders, answer by the Dentist)

First molars eruption in children can sometimes give symptoms in form of redness, swollen gingiva and in rare cases fever. The eruption of the permanent dentition begins with the lower central incisors, that is the front teeth in the mandible, at around 6 years of age, and ends with the eruption of upper second molars at around 12 years of age. The time of eruption can vary a lot between individuals and also within individuals. Disturbances in eruption are common in the permanent dentition. First molars are big and important teeth, and they often erupt simultaneously or a little after the eruption of the lower central incisors. They may cause symptoms. Anders has a question concerning first molars:

I have a six year old getting her molars. One has come in, and the second one is having trouble breaking thru the tissue. Behind the tooth it is swollen, but my child does not have fever or extreme redness. What should i do?

First molars can give the symptoms that Anders describes. Swollen gingiva, redness, a slight fever. The child may also experience trismus; that is, having trouble opening the mouth widely. The condition is called pericoronitis and is due to bacteria collecting under the gingival pocket, or space, over the erupting tooth. This will give an inflammation that causes the edema, redness and in some cases fever. The best thing to do is to clean the area with a q-tip dipped in physiological NaCl-solution (0.9%) or with a mouthrinse containing chlorhexidin. This way the bacteria will not be able to survive and the inflammation will most often go away. This cleansing may hurt a little as you have to make sure the area under the gingiva is thoroughly rinsed. It might bleed a little as well - this is not dangerous. If the child gets fever, fatigue and severe redness or edema, you should contact your dentist for an appointment.

Good luck with your child's first molars!

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