Where There Is No Dentist 2012 101
When babies and small children first get their teeth, it is called teething.
This can make the child unhappy, because his gums are sore.
Teething does not cause fever,
head colds, or cough.
But a child can have any of these
problems at the same time as he
gets a new tooth.
If the child has another sickness, do not blame it on teething. Look for
another cause and treat it separately. Also, do not cut the gum over the
new tooth. Let the tooth grow through the gum by itself.
1. Give acetaminophen for pain and fever (page 94).
2. Give the child something hard to bite against. This will help the tooth to
grow through the gums faster. For example, let him chew on a dry hard
GUM DISEASE STARTING
Infection can start in the gums whenever the teeth near them are not clean.
For example, there may be swelling between only 2 teeth or between many
teeth. In addition, gums that are weak from poor nutrition are not able to
resist the infection. This is why pregnant women and people living with HIV
must take special care to eat well and clean their teeth carefully. When a
person has HIV, his body cannot fight infections well, so a gum infection can
quickly get worse (page 189).
• Gums are red instead of pink.
• Gums are loose instead of
tight against the tooth.
• Between the teeth, gums are
round instead of pointed.
• Gums bleed when the person
brushes or flosses.
Feel for tartar under the gum—or
even a piece of fishbone.
• Gums bleed when you press
against them, or when you scrape away food from under them.
• The person has bad breath and a bad taste inside the mouth.