You begin providing oral health care for your child as soon as they start growing their first teeth in infancy. Eventually, these primary teeth, also called baby teeth or milk teeth, will fall out, and permanent adult teeth will grow into place. But despite their inevitable loss, you should still help your child keep these baby teeth as healthy as possible.
Like adult teeth, baby teeth may be susceptible to tooth decay, a condition in which natural oral bacteria penetrate the enamel of a tooth. If bacteria wear a hole into the enamel, dentists refer to the issue as a cavity. Your child could face long-term consequences for their oral health if you ignore a cavity on one of these baby teeth, even if they will lose the tooth in a few years anyway.
Understanding these potential dangers can encourage you to seek prompt dental treatment for this issue in your child’s smile. So check out details about the importance of treating tooth decay in baby teeth by reading on.
Risks of Untreated Tooth Decay in Baby Teeth
Tooth decay can form in the enamel, the hard outer layer of the teeth, in both primary and adult teeth. It will not go away on its own and will, in fact, deepen and worsen without intervention from a dentist. Though children lose their baby teeth, advanced tooth decay in primary teeth can lead to serious problems in a kid’s smile.
As tooth decay progresses, the child may start to feel pain and discomfort in their mouth near the affected tooth. This can affect their eating habits and oral functions, which may lead to long-term unhealthy behaviors.
If decay reaches the tooth’s interior, the child could be in danger of an infection, which will need more extensive dental work to fix. Untreated tooth decay could reach the developing adult teeth, which could make them weaken or grow misaligned. Do not ignore cavities on any type of teeth so that you can avoid these dental complications.
Treatment Options for Cavities in Primary Teeth
Treatment may vary for pediatric dental patients with a cavity in a primary tooth. Depending on the child’s age and the severity of the dental damage, the dentist might suggest preventative efforts to stop the decay from worsening. This will entail fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth.
Many cavities will require a dental filling. This treatment involves the removal of the damaged portion of tooth enamel. Then the dentist uses composite resin to fill the resulting hole in the tooth and restore its structure.
Advanced tooth decay might need more removal of the enamel than a filling can fix. In this case, the young patient may need a dental crown to fully shield the tooth.
In more extreme instances, the dentist might need to extract the tooth to stop the decay from spreading throughout the mouth and to protect the rest of the patient’s smile. Discuss tooth decay treatment options for your child by scheduling an appointment today.