Families rightly worry about the dangers of cavities. Still, what is a cavity, and what problems can one cause? Find out how parents can help their children avoid or treat tooth decay.
Anyone with teeth can get a cavity, even young infants. This condition refers to a small hole in a tooth. Another common name for such pits and gaps is tooth decay. Bacteria that eat away at the structure of the teeth are the most frequent cause.
Anything that promotes a favorable environment for bacteria can lead to damaged teeth. The worst offenders are sugary treats and drinks. However, any food that remains between the teeth or elsewhere in the mouth can create conditions for bacteria growth.
Cavities can occur in one of three tooth locations:
A pit and fissure cavity resides on the chewing surface of the teeth
A smooth surface cavity sits on the side of a tooth
A root cavity develops on the surface above a root
Proper cleaning can protect against developing a cavity.
Cavities create more issues than an unattractive smile. The first symptoms are often pain and sensitivity that interfere with speaking and eating. Such aches often happen while consuming hot or cold food and beverages.
These consequences can end up stunting a child's physical development because of a lack of nutrition due to avoiding specific foods. Tooth pain may lead to learning difficulties because of a lack of focus or an unwillingness to speak up or participate due to discomfort.
An infection could occur that may progress to becoming an abscess. This severe ailment under the gums can travel to other body parts and have disastrous effects on one's health.
Also, holes may become visible in the teeth. While stains are often brown or black, white blotches can also signify tooth decay.
Regular brushing and flossing are initial steps for fighting cavities. However, cleaning at home cannot completely attend to all areas, which is why regular cleanings at the dentist's office are necessary.
Also, a cavity can form without notice. Regular checkups keep kids' mouths healthy and allow the dentist to repair teeth with fillings before excessive damage ensues.
Don't delay scheduling a dentist appointment. Contact us at the Pediatric Dental Group, where we focus on the unique oral care needs of infants, children, and teenagers.