CAVITIES IN BABY TEETH AFFECT ADULT TEETH
When we are children things like cavities and trips to the dentist can be somewhat traumatizing and many children want to avoid them as much as possible. As parents that do not want to see their children suffer, many will simply go without filling cavities in baby teeth because these teeth fall out with time. This is not recommended however as cavities in baby teeth do have a negative effect on permanent teeth development later.
GREAT ORAL HYGIENE IS NOT ENOUGH
Though it might seem that adequate oral care, even with a cavity, is enough when it comes to baby teeth, it is important to fill these cavities for a few very specific reasons that we will discuss here. It is helpful to first understand a bit about tooth development in order to understand why filling these cavities is so important. Children are born with both sets of teeth inside their jaw bone. These teeth will grow in size and shape and will eventually emerge from their gums to fill their mouths.
BACTERIA CAN TRAVEL
As your child’s adult teeth grow and change, the teeth that are already being used on the surface, the baby teeth or milk teeth, are going to rest directly above the adult teeth. If these baby teeth are affected by decay and rot they can have a negative effect on the teeth that are growing directly below them. When a tooth has a cavity the bacteria from the cavity eats away at the tooth and the tooth enamel and gradually makes its way through the tooth. If the cavity is left without treatment for long enough, it can completely go through the tooth to the root, under which the adult teeth are growing.
DECAY MAY REACH ADULT TEETH
The decay can then move to the adult teeth and cause decay within the adult tooth even before it emerges from the gums. Decay is a very invasive thing that tends to spread from tooth to tooth if it is left untreated. The odds are however that if the decay is bad enough to reach the adult tooth below the gum line; it is likely going to be painful enough that the tooth will have to be treated.
ABSCESSES MAY FORM
Not only can decay damage the teeth beneath that gums that are growing, decay can also cause abscess in the gums that can then spread bacteria to the adult teeth that are growing below. This means that even if you think that a baby tooth is not going to affect the growth of an adult tooth below, it certainly can. These abscesses are painful, uncomfortable, and can cause a great deal of distress to your child. The bacteria that causes decay can spread through the mouth not only to the adult teeth below, but also to other baby teeth which can cause a great deal of issue in the mouth of your child.
TREATMENT FOR CAVITIES IN BABY TEETH
Though it might seem like treatment for teeth that are going to fall out anyway is unnecessary, the issues we have already discussed are serious enough that you should seek treatment for your child. There are a few different treatment options that your child’s dentist will go through in order to find the best solution for your child. The first is to simply fill the cavity. If you catch a cavity before it is large your dentist is likely going to be able to drill out the cavity then fill the hole and prevent any damage or pain that may be associated with it.
Another treatment option is to cap the tooth. This is used when the decay is extensive or when the tooth is very large and filling the cavity may not be an option. In this case, the decay is drilled out as with a normal cavity then a metal cap is placed over the tooth and is there until the tooth falls out with the natural growth cycle of the child’s teeth. This method of treatment is most commonly used on molars that are going to fall out anyway.
In some very rare cases, the decay may be so bad, or the child is old enough, and the dentist may suggest the tooth be pulled. In these cases the child is often old enough that their new teeth are likely to emerge soon or that the decay is so extensive that there is not enough of the tooth left to fill or cap. With any child it is important that as the adult, their parent takes charge and makes sure that they are brushing and taking care of their teeth.
If you have a child that is struggling with dental decay you should take them to the dentist as soon as possible. Biltmore Commons Dental Care is ready and waiting to help your child get the smile that they are comfortable with and that is comfortable for them. Call today to make your appointment.