42 answers

Seeking Advice on Son's Mouth Sore

Hi ladies! My 4 yr old son had a cavity filled this past Wednesday and of course they numbed his mouth at the dentist office. Well, my son chewed up his lip pretty badly while it was numb, and it is still swollen & is now turning green where he bit it. I'm afraid it may getting infected & it hurts him a lot. He doesn't even want to eat because it hurts. He is also complaining that his tooth/teeth hurt around the same one that was just filled. So, I'm wondering if they missed filling some of the cavity or something? Or does an almost 5 yr old have new molars coming in? I just don't know if I should call the dentist or if it is all just sore from the whole dentist visit still. And any suggestions on what to do about his lip? I have just been putting ora-jel on everything for now... (and giving motrin or tylenol) but that only helps for a little while it seems. Thanks for any advice!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the wonderful advice. We let things go over the weekend & it finally looked a lot better. The green has almost gone away & the swelling is gone as well. His lips are chapped cuz he is still chewing a bit... but they seem ok. As far his teeth hurting, that seems to be getting better to. I think I will have a dentist take another look at the cavity though to make sure it's filled properly. Thanks again for everything!!

Featured Answers

Green is a sign of infection. I would put triple antibiotic ointment on it and get him into the doctor. He might need an oral antibiotic, especially if the sore is inside the lip where you can't put topical ointment. Good luck!

I would not hesitate getting him to a Dr. It sounds as if he may have a serious infection. You may even notify the dentist that saw him in the first place. However, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Sounds like the problem is not his tooth or the cavity but
his lip where he chewed it. He probably has an infection and I would take him to the doctor. He should be put on antibiotics right away.

C. A.

More Answers

Hi M.,

There are over the counter creams that stick to the mouth sore, which is also very common with kids the have braces. Try looking for those. That happened to me before and it hurts pretty bad and unless you cover the wound it will take a lot longer to heal.

Good luck,


If I were you, I would call the dentist office NOW. They probably have a recording that will list their emergency number....call it and tell them what is going on. I'm not a dentist but I have invested over $7000.00 in my own teeth and currently have a 12 year old with braces and a 10 year old getting ready for his. My best friend is the office manager at our dentist office and she says call asap. She also said if they don't have an emergency number, you may consider going to your local Urgent care or ER because if this is an infection, it sounds very bad.

Try using tea tree oil directly on the sore lip as well as on the gums around where the cavity was filled. If you can get it, the T36-C5 highest quality is best, but any tea tree oil should help. He may fight you because it tastes yucky but you will notice it reduces the pain very quickly. Also the healing properties of tea tree oil will speed the healing of his mouth. Just dab a little on your finger and rub where needed. I have used this for my teething babies and grandbabies, and have used it in my own mouth when I chipped a tooth.

I would take him in. Just to be safe. At least give the dentist a call. Hang in there!

Hi,My Name Is S.,and I have learned that when It comes to things like cavities,and sore mouths,kids are pretty ON IT.I would suggest making an appointment and taking him right back to the dentist.He could very well need some medicine,or be told to just rinse his mouth with salt water...You never know,but it's better to be safe when it comes to mouth infections.
P.S.Good Luck,and hope he feels better soon.

Take your son to the ER.That don't sound good.If it is truning green that is nothing to play around with.I wish you luck and please let us know how is doing after.D.

I would call the dentist they will want to check things out. They may recommend rubbing some orajel on it or something they can give you a prescription for.

I would call the doctor to see what you can use for mouth infections. Next time if your son needs to have a cavity filled ask the dentist if he has a different numbing method. My son's dentist used some kind of electro pads that he moves on my son's face when filling a cavity. It numbs the area for only the amount of time it takes to fill the cavity. When he takes them off his face the numbing fades immediately. My son loves it he never has any problems after the cavities are filled.

Hey M.--I'm a dental hygienist and think my best advice is to take your son back to the dentist tomorrow, especially if it is green!! Teeth can be sore after a filling for quite some time, or even just the injection spots. Some children do get their 6 years molars very early--my daughter had hers before her 5th birthday. But most importantly, his cheek may be getting infected; there are lots of bacteria in the mouth!!
Make sure he is rinsing very often to clean it out, warm water with a little salt in it would be even better. You can also put ambesol on it or the spray for sore throats.
Hope this helps!

hey M.,

I would not give him any oral jel. I have been told by the doctors oral jel will only make the tooth worse. What it does is it gets down into the root of the tooth and causing get pain. If you continue to use oral jel it will only get worse. You should not use any numbing medicine. You can give him some motrin or tylenol as long as it is not directly placed on the tooth that is hurting. The acid from the medicine will cause the tooth to hurt more if you put the medicine directly on the tooth. What I think you should do is take him back to the dentist. Some times when they fill a cavity it may come out. Try to encourage him not to bite down on his lip when he does go back to the dentist. In the mean time what you could do for pain is you can give him a heating pad. I know when I had servere pain in my tooth it really helped ease the pain. You can try that to see if that will help you in the mean time I would call the dentist and make him another appointment.

M. ,

If his lip is turning green you need to take him to the doctor or the dentist. That is an infection. Worry about the rest later.

I am a dentist and unfortunately, this happens all the time when children have a filling. We instruct the parent to pay super close attention to the child for 3 hours following the appointment.

In terms of infection, this is very rare. A 'chewed up cheek' rarely gets infected. Yes, it will turn white, yellow, even green (what's really bad is that us, as adults know not to chew on it even more...but kids still do). It will take about 7-14 days to heal.

Orajel is fine as in motrin. Tylenol will help, but motrin is better. Encourage him to not bite it (sticker charts....positive reinforcement). It really is a stinky situation.

As for the 'pain' he is feeling. It is normal to feel pain around the area that was numbed for 1-4 days. Then, it is normal for the filling to feel 'different' for 4-6 weeks (that is usually how a child will describe it). Encourage soft foods (puddings, milkshakes are great) and add in some vitamins so that he is getting all his nutrients.

If, he still has some pain/discomfort in 2 weeks (the 'different' feeling is still bothering him/he's still talking about it) then absolutely, bring him back in)

As for an almost 5 year old getting new teeth....maybe. 6 year molars usually start erupting around 5 1/2, although I've seen 4 year olds with them as well as 7 year olds without them

Good luck

If it is turning green, that is a sign of infection!!!! I would get him to a doctor as soon as you can. Either medcheck or ER. They will also be able to tell you about the tooth pain too. He shouldn't be in that much pain from a filling!!!!! Good luck---I am a nurse with a 7 year old son.

I would put a call in to the dentist and they can check to be sure that they didn't miss any of the cavity, but having the filling and having the teeth or tooth next to the one that was filled be sore is not uncommon. If his mouth is getting infected which it kind of sounds like it to me the dentist can prescribe some antibiotics for him to take to get rid of the infection. He shouldn't have any molars coming in yet that usually happens around 6 yrs. and those would be his 7 yr. molars coming in. I would definitely suggest a call to the dentist so it doesn't get any worse. Good luck.

Sounds like the problem is not his tooth or the cavity but
his lip where he chewed it. He probably has an infection and I would take him to the doctor. He should be put on antibiotics right away.

C. A.

Sounds like it could be pretty infected. I would get him to the Dr asap!! Espically with some of the infections going around recently its better to be safe than sorry. If you cant get to your regular Dr today it may be a good idea to head to the er- if his lip is infected it could travel to his gums etc. he'll probably need an antibiotic! Good luck!!

I would definitely call the dentist. Better safe than sorry ... especially if it is infected.

Good luck!

I would not hesitate getting him to a Dr. It sounds as if he may have a serious infection. You may even notify the dentist that saw him in the first place. However, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

I would talk to the dentist about that lip asap! I just got a cavity filled this year and my tooth continued to hurt for days. I thought that they missed the boat too, but it takes time to heal.

M., Tea tree oil, an essential oil, on a q-tip, applied to the lip, will numb the area, and help to heal it and prevent infection. It doesn't taste good, but is VERY effective. Go on line and check it out. B.

I would take him back to the dentist or childrens emergency room a.s.a.p! Since there is green there and it could be infected and if that infection gets in the blood stream it can be very serious.My advise is go to another dentist next time.If the tooth is still hurting it could have infection in it also.I feel sorry for him, maybe he could drink some pedia sure drinks with a straw. I wish him well..

A wonderful remedy for infection is to mix a tsp of cinnamon into a spoonfull of honey. You should always use home-made honey from a beekeeper because it hasn't been treated like storebought honey and never use it on toddlers or babies it has spores? that can hurt little children. Anyway, it's great because it soaks right into the skin! My teens have used it to fight acne! It cleans out the pores and the head never developes. It should work for your little guy if he doesn't lick it all off!

Try having him swish his mouth out with hydrogen peroxide....or make a paste of baking soda with a dab of water to put in area.....

Get your son to a doctor/dentist at once..Don't play around with his health, his misery is only going to compound and then what will you do?..Please, don't hesitate to do this, I realize you're a new mom and a first time mom, so let this be a lesson, if you will, take care of your child's health...

Call the dentist right away....

ora-jel and motrin are NOT going to fight infection.

His lip is turning green and you haven't taken him to be seen by a doctor??????
Get him to a doctor.
K. S.

Take him to a doctor right away...Urgent care is where I go when I can't get to my regular doc. if it's green it's infected. You need meds.


if you haven't already, call the dentist. it does sound like an infection if there is any "green". your son probably won't get any new molars until he is 6 or 7.

I believe your son has an infection and needs antibotics for his sore mouth. Call the dentist office and let them know what is going on. I just had an infection in my mouth last week after dental work and have had them several times before. Good luck

call the dentist- he probably needs antibiotics!

Green is a sign of infection. I would put triple antibiotic ointment on it and get him into the doctor. He might need an oral antibiotic, especially if the sore is inside the lip where you can't put topical ointment. Good luck!

I am a Dental Hygienist and have been for 22yrs. In our office we would want to hear from anyone having a problem after a procedure. Don't hesitate to call the office and have it checked.

GET HIM BACK TO THAT DENTIST!! You're right...something isn't right and it sounds like it started there...mouth infections can be extremely serious, affecting the entire body.

Don't put this off...even if it means calling their emergency number. If its turning 'green', that is a sign of infection and should be dealt with immediately!

Best of everything! And I hope your little guy gets to feeling better soonest!

Kim, Fishers

Hey M.! I have worked as a dental assistant for 6 years and we do see this quite often in young children. The soreness coming from his tooth can just be from the trauma of the vibration of the drill, but also can mean the cavity was very close to the pulp or nerve and is now letting you know its not happy;) Pain can radiate so they may not have missed anything. I would still call and try to get your child in on Monday. As for the cheek chewing orajel or orabase jel will numb the area enough for your child to want to eat, the green tissue I would think is just from the trauma, but couldvery easily be infected. The good news is mouth sores tend to heal in 3-5days so though ainful, it should be quick. I would still definately take your child to have everything looked at. Its best to be safe.

At 5 your son could be getting his six year molars. As for the mouth sore, try a mixture of cherry Malox and childrens cherry Benadryl. mix equal parts and have your son swish them over the area and spit it out(do not have him swallow) If you think he won't spit it out or are afraid he will swallow "paint it over the area with a q-tip.

This is a mixture my doctor recommends for all mouth sores. It helps draw out the infection and treats it like an ulcer, numbing the area to prevent discomfort. We use it for ALL mouth sore including canker sores. Most are gone within a day or two.

M., I would call the dentist back immediately. If he is not available, call your doctors office. The green is a sign of infection and shouldn't be put off. If you can't get into either one, i would probably go to the ER, especially if he is running a fever or refuses liquids.

If the spot where your son bit is turning green, I think you should take him to urgent care to see a doctor right away.

Call your pediatrician or family doctor. Sounds like it may be an infection due to the color. If he spikes a fever, take him to the ER.

Good luck!

I am a dental assistant and have seen this quite a bit. Very normal for children to bite their cheek. Sounds like you should definitely call your dentist. He may need to go on an antibiotic to help him heal. His molars should not come in until he's closer to 6, but it is possible. Being that he just had fillings done, the pain he's having sounds like it's from a bite.

Dear M.,

I hope by now you've had your son checked. It's very hard to differentiate pain in the mouth, especially with an acute trauma (lip biting) and possible infection going on, so worry about that first, when that is getting better, he can tell you if he still has pain in his tooth. It's not unusual to have sensitivity after a tooth has been filled, so hopefully that's all it was, but his lip is probably the main source of pain. I hope he's ok, please let us know what happened.

I REALLY hope you've listened to all these people telling you to call a doctor. I'm a student of veterinary medicine, and we learned that green = Pseudomonas, a nasty bacteria that you don't want infecting your child's mouth. Also, the person who said that the infection could spread to the rest of the body (through the blood- it's called sepsis or septicemia, and it can be deadly) was right. This is not something that should wait until regular office hours. PLEASE call a doctor if you haven't already.
:) I.

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